...has been a hard one for me. For a lot of reasons, some of which I'll list (school, teaching, school, busy-ness, school...) and some of which I won't (........). I'm tired. To a degree that I have not experienced before. They told me going in (to the first semester of a Master's Degree and Teacher Certification combined) that this one would be the hardest. And it has been. Not because of the classes - those haven't been that bad, actually. But because of the amount of running around, planning, revising, running around some more, and missing my family that comes with those classes. I just keep telling myself to hang in there, it's almost done, only a little longer, and so on. And here I am at the end, still mostly in once piece.
...has been a season of grief. Everywhere I look, I see people and things that I've lost. Eric's mom, Ann, seems to be whispering in my ear. I even dream about her on a regular basis. It's not that I don't want to feel her near, oh no, but more that it sneaks up on me and leaves me weak in the knees, remembering: Oh, yes, she's gone. And remembering this only circles me back around to those who followed after. My grandparents. Eric's Uncle Jim. Eric's dad, Sam ("Poppa"), my Uncle George. And suddenly I'm gutted.
...has been magical for Carly. Perhaps the most magical almost-Christmas she has ever had. She looks on the world with the wonder in her eyes. Glistening, glimmering, glittering belief. "Santa is real," she says. "I know he is." She wonders what he will bring. She feasts on the excitement, shakes it up, listens to it, drinks it in. It is beautiful to see the season through her eyes.
...has been a time of change. Readjustment. Hard conversations with reality.
...has been a happy one, too. Puffy white snow. Christmas carols. Wrapped presents all ready to go. I keep thinking about how lucky I am (we are). I have a warm house to sleep in. A car to drive. Presents to wrap. My children know "want" but not "need." Yes, this right now is hard. But I will get through it and good things wait on the other side. Perhaps my belief does not run so deep or so strong as Carly's, but it's there. Glistening, glimmering, glittering. God is real, I know He is.