• Connie Greshner

Merry Christmas Mom

Updated: Jan 4, 2020

I have noticed I am having lots of thoughts about my mom this Christmas, perhaps more than usual and that the thoughts are definitely different these days. In Christmas's past, I would recoil from thoughts of her, desperately trying to avoid memories that brought back the pain of her loss. Now I actively seek her, look for her in the expressions on my children's faces, smile with her as time bends and I am baking cookies and wrapping presents with her then and with my kids now, and I hear her whispers of guidance when I get wound up with Christmas anxiety. If I lie awake in bed ruminating about trying to plan a perfect holiday, or worry about pleasing others with gift choices, I imagine what she would say. "Appreciate every moment. Create joy. Do what makes you happy. Be happy, little one." And so I try to practice skills which increase my happiness during the holiday season. I noticed I was grouchy one morning and realized I had too many expectations as I anticipated the arrival of company, so I reframed my self talk as "what gets done is enough, it will be enough, I am enough" (shout out to Brene Brown). I fully participate in the whirlwind of activities I plan. I sing and crack jokes and let myself cry when I feel emotional listening to cheesy Christmas carols. I walk away from my chores and take a day trip to the lake where my soul is replenished. I practice mindfulness during my walks through the mountain snows. I am full of gratitude for all I have, my family, my life. My cousins in Alberta posted a picture on Facebook showing the contributions that they made to my mom's grave, little solar lights and flowers in the snow. These cousins weren't even born when she was alive, and their love is so beautiful. I believe that time and space can bend through the energy of our thoughts, memories and love. Near and far, past present and future, we are all connected. This is my comfort, as I listen quietly for the whisper of my mom's voice: "Merry Christmas, little one." And I whisper back, "Merry Christmas Mom."

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