Friday, December 25, 2020

Peace and joy

Christmas has been determinedly low-key, as my son is working, his love is with her parents in New Jersey, and my daughter is with her love and his family upstate. We drove her there yesterday, after a lovely week she spent with us here, it was like she never left home. It was restorative. My niece is here with the man and me, and her boyfriend just arrived to have dinner with us, which my husband is cooking, bless him. The day has been painless—we opened presents, ate bagels with cream cheese and lox for breakfast, made a few phone calls, FaceTimed our girl, then I climbed into bed and read into the late afternoon, grateful to have the concentration to read whole books again, a gift of this period of quarantine. I'm reading Hidden Valley Road, the true story of a family with ten sons and two daughters, who saw six of the boys diagnosed with schizophrenia. I sank into the story, gathering in every detail, because a young man I love, a boy my son grew up with, has recently been diagnosed and is having a very hard time. There has been some heartbreak associated with this recent relapse, undoing, I don't really know what to call it, but of course I can't get into the details for reasons of privacy. 

We saw the young man yesterday when we were walking out to the car to drive our girl upstate, and he greeted us warmly, though with more distance than in the past. He looked really good, tall, as beautiful as a male model, groomed and stylish, but I couldn't see his eyes because he was wearing those mirror sunglasses, and of course, a mask. Given what he has recently been through, it was good to see him looking so flawlessly put together, but I felt so sad afterward, as if we had lost a piece of how we used to be, our family and this young man, who is struggling, with no idea how very worthy he is or how much he is loved. I guess it's still on my heart because I really didn't mean to veer there in this post. 

The photo up top is one I took of my beautiful, joyful girl, when we were wrapping presents two nights ago. Though her very presence fills me with joy, I have to remember that like all of us, she has her own shadings of emotion, her dark moods, and let's all give space for that, grace for that in the coming year.

I hope you all had a good, peaceful day. Me? I'm always happy when Christmas is behind me. Okay, gotta go. My husband is calling us to dinner now. Happy holidays my dear friends. See you on the other side.



  1. Merry Christmas! Ours was even lower key, but happy to be here and to have all my loved ones alive, well and all that.

  2. Such a beautiful photo of your daughter and such a sad story of that young man and his diagnosis. All at once life happens like this, beauty and sadness, pandemic and dinner. We are learning our way through this, together and apart. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

  3. Sounds like a lovely Christmas. My middle daughter is thirty now, an age I can remember quite clearly. She is herself, still my daughter but I think that means more to me than it does to her. I wonder if my mum felt like this too. Probably.

    Schizophrenia is such a difficult way to live life. It's heartbreaking although really, so much of life is heartbreaking in one way or another.

    Stay safe my friend.

  4. Sounds like you had a great time and a real opportunity to connect with those you love. Which is what the holidays are about, right?

  5. Good to have had time with family and time for simply being.

    With one son who suffers from bipolar disorder, I know only too well the feelings and concerns you express about your young friend, having lived through decades of turmoil. My son has been relatively stable for the past decade due to a wonderful, caring psychiatrist and because my son has stayed on his medications. But one never, ever takes that status for granted. Wishing your friend and all who love him peace and hope for better days.

  6. Schizophrenia is a cruel, cruel disease. I can't imagine having that many children with it.
    Your daughter is a light prism. She takes in the light and reflects it back, made even more beautiful.
    Happy Day After Christmas, dearheart! We made it!

  7. your daughter is so lovely and I'm glad you got to have a week with her. sorry to hear about your son's friend. it is a heinous disease.

  8. Wishing you and your family peace and joy in 2021!

  9. Hi, Belated Merry Christmas,
    Your daughter is so very lovely. These snap shots of life are just such precious memories. I am glad that you had a nice low key holiday. I am so very sorry about the young man who has been struggling. I hope that this coming year will be very kind to him.
    I need to get back to blogging but I seem not to have much to say right now but I do know that blogging helps me clear my mind and my emotions.
    Right now I am in Reno Nevada spending time with my granddaughter and daughter in law and we have been really busy with Christmas but now that it is passed on perhaps I will sit down and put in a blog post or two.
    I hope that you and your man will have a wonderful New Year and that 2021 will be kinder to all of us. xoxoxoxo Beth

  10. Cheers to you and yours! All the best for 2021. With the vaccine being distributed, things can only get better. I am sorry about your son's friend and hope with support and medical attention he can be helped. As always your daughter looks happy and beautiful, full of joy.

  11. We made it! Which is, coincidentally, the title of my rare blog post today. So glad you were able to be with family. That's what it's all about. I'm keeping my distance due to my diabetes, but we managed a two hour outside Christmas celebration with the grand kids. Super fun and very much needed. Best wishes to you and your family for 2021.

  12. I've been very absent from the blogging world, but when I do log on, I come directly to your page to see how you and your family are doing. I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year.