Monday, November 28, 2011

Everyone is Broken.......

.....some are just better at hiding it than others. Some of us are mended, some are not. And at this time of year, it shows.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 BC - 347 BC)

We were driving around the other day, running errands, putzing around as we call it. Everywhere was a memory, mostly bad. At this time of year, memories of holiday traditions come back like a flood. We have your basic empty nest now. Our 22 year old lives and works on the east coast. Our 20 year old has her own place here. Our 19 year old has tasted what it's like to be on his own and is working hard to get there again {currently with his mom}. And our youngest, my almost 18 year old, is with his father in KS.

Holiday traditions tend to revolve around our children. Staying up late wrapping their gifts. Putting their crazy toys together. Trying to hide their gifts. Getting their pictures taken with Santa. buying their Christmas outfits for those crazy pictures. Even at Thanksgiving we plan the meal around their likes. We drag out the tree or go pick one with our children. Maybe we go to a movie after the big meal, or watch the game with them. As they grow up and move away, these traditions slowly dwindle and fade. But when you get divorced, these changes happen a lot faster. Suddenly, traditions are ripped away from you and shattered like wine glasses thrown against the fireplace mantle. And everywhere you go, there is a memory of a once lovingly held tradition, now gone and perhaps outgrown.

It makes me wonder how many other sad, maybe angry people we encounter on our way at this time of year who may be experiencing a very similar type of thing. Everywhere they look there are happy couples, families, children ~ but all they have are tragic, shattered memories that burn their heart and soul like a fire. What we see is a tough exterior, a grouchy old man, a crabby lady, a surly teen - but what we don't see is the brokenness on the inside. Plato was so right. We are all fighting a hard battle, every day of our existence. At this 'most wonderful time of year' let's try to cut our fellow human beings some slack, for we do not know how hard their battle truly is.

Merry Christmas!

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