It was an inarticulate sorrow that came in waves every other year, but if I am honest, it was one that I had known all my life–not just when I began sharing custody of my children.
Loss is difficult.
Change is excruciating.
Healing takes time.
Establishing tradition was desired and difficult with a foundation of every other year. I felt the sting of jealousy when others talked about what they did every year.
Always is not in the repertoire of those who have shared or are sharing children. Try substituting always with every other year. It just doesn’t work the same.
So–every year, because who has the bandwidth to remember two years ago, we would began anew. Maybe it’s fair to say I mourned the ability to establish tradition. In the tension between desire and actuality, I had to make a firm decision.
Instead of focusing on the loss, I had to focus on the gift. I learned to focus on the “one time” stories rather than the lack of “always” ones.
The one time we served together as a family on that holiday. The invitation to eat at that restaurant with a family the first year I was alone. The one time I flew home, on Christmas day, with my momma by my side. The one time someone shared a kind word in a stormy season.
The one time…
This perspective helped me appreciate provision. Let’s face it, it is far easier to remember what we’ve missed than what we have received. Take a few moments today to remember the provision of the “one times” in your life. Take it a step further and be a “one time” memory for someone near you.
A thankful heart, one filled with an abundance of joy and sweet memories, is available to each of us. Don’t let traditions, or a lack there of, set you off course. Run forward. Be the joy to someone battling loneliness this season.
Be the one time for someone today. It might be the only goodness that person or family is able to count this year.