And social media is alive with best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year and I think ...
Another 365 entire days? Heaven help me.
And yet - He does. This Christmas was one of the hardest I have ever had - Christmas Eve was one of the hardest days I have had yet, in my emotional healing journey. I woke in the morning with an overwhelming sense of dread, which did not lift. I was triggered all day for reasons I could not work out - I spent a lot of the day crying in the back room at work, and some of it crying at home, and some of it lashing out at people and a lot of it just trying to breathe. By very early the next morning, the flashback that had been fighting its way to the surface had come and gone, and I could finally draw a deep breath. Days like that have an aftermath, but even so ...
There were times of great blessing. Brad's family came en masse to bring us Christmas, and they blessed and blessed and blessed us, with food, and warm open arms, and every time I turned around, something I had forgotten about was being handled. No-one seemed to expect that I would have it all together, this year of all years, and I was finally able to relax and be held in the warmth of this incredible family I have been so fortunate to have married into.
We spent a few nights at a hotel that was kind enough to let all 18 of us set up camp in their breakfast room for two days, and we played games and did puzzles, rotating shifts of us, and it was all so very good. We took a trip to Lake Louise, and while I have been there literally dozens of times in my life, I don't know if I have ever seen it so pretty. Big fluffy flakes of snow, the temperature just below zero, hockey players and skaters on the lake - it was magical.
I filled the birdfeeders just a few days before Christmas and today I was delighted to see that the birds have found us, downy woodpeckers and chickadees and either a house finch or pine grosbeak or two, and little brown birds and even once or twice, a flicker. Card games and all four of us home together (A moved out earlier this winter) and just the way God does, even in the midst of grief and struggle, there is comfort.
Next up is a hockey tournament, and then January 13, Brad faces another surgery, this time on his liver, to remove the cancer that has spread there from his bowel.
And Heaven will help us, because that's what He does.