A bit of a glaring look at life within the walls of those that are not so fortunate at this time of year, a play on words, a little of a well known story; with a twist to open the door and let others peer inside. There is a reality that we face living in poverty, all of us, no matter how much we tell ourselves that the spirit of this season, regardless of what religion you are, the spirit of this season is one of good will and giving within humanity; one of miracles and happiness, but for many like us it is a moment of glaring clarity of all that we cannot provide, give or expect in our lives.
The stockings are empty and the chimney is not there, the Yule tree sits bright, lights flashing. It's branches laden with glitter and ornaments placed with care, underneath it completely bare.
The turkey sits waiting for crisping and cooking, no stuffing or dressing, gravy or cranberries to share.....a simple meal of poultry and potatoes for all who are there.
Momma sits and leans in Papa's arms, tears glistening; love being all she has to give to her heirs......no matter the work, no matter how hard, the hole was too big to make much repair.
She snuggles her boy and hugs him tight, a tear spills from her eyes, finding his tiny cheek; he kisses her face; his little voice whispers "Mom, I love you to infinity!"
Together they lay out the cookies, a glass of milk, and a prayer that next year will be better, this year to be a distant memory, filled with struggle and strain to be replaced with a year born in gain.
Poverty and Pain are not to remain.
Last week I shared a link to a post that only the working poor would understand, the lack of dental for one, boy does my family know that one! the vehicle that doesn't always get you where you are going but yet it is not affordable to replace, repair is more likely when possible.....and that hopefully you know how to do yourself or you may just find yourself SOL. The reaction to that post was amazing, so many of us in the same boat, so many of us living just under or straddling that poverty line, and yet we work, most of us quite hard but cannot break through that blasted line, then along comes this season, and us parents we cringe......not looking forward to the disappointed faces of our children, something that was also brought up in that post, it became quite the discussion, will they remember this disappointment? or is it more something that us parents carry around with us......I am inclined to lean towards the latter of the two.
When I was child I wanted Fashion Plates, so so badly, I hounded my father for this particular toy! begged him constantly and asked him please could I have this for Christmas, he of course agreed that yes I could. Days later he came to me and handed me a small piece of paper, I remember looking at it and wondering what is this, well it was a picture of my beloved Fashion Plates and he said to me "here now you have it, I told you you could have it" big smile on his face, and he walked away chuckling......of course I was so upset thinking this was the closest I was going to get to my beloved toy, only to open it excitedly the next week.........I played with them for a short time, and like many other of my toys I would have forgotten all about them if it had not been for the little slip from the catalogue that my dad had cut out, that I kept much longer.......I hope with my children that they have these little stories to remember too, to make up for the lean times there is only one way to ever make up for them......Love.
It may be cliche, or polyanna, or who knows whatever the hell else anyone wants to say, but when you live this life, and you struggle to keep it all going, then hanging onto love and kindness is sometimes all you have....not the type of kindness that is shown with the idea of gain, but genuine from the heart, give you my last morsel of food type of kindness....the kindness stories of this time regale us with.....miracles in time.....magic
As the boy sleeps, the stockings will dance, taking their place under bows of lace, and stars of black locust, filled with dreams, hearts, love and grace.
From our family to yours, may you find all the blessings of the season have made it to your stockings as well!