Turning Towards the Light

December 21, 2013

Sunrise TNIt’s the winter solstice today – the shortest day of the year – a day of transition and rebirth. The earth is turning from darkness back into the light, and so it’s a day of hope. A promise that, ever so slowly, things will start getting brighter. They will start getting better.

Days like this are meant for reflection – for thinking about the past and contemplating the future. And at this time of year, I can’t help but think about my mother, who died of cancer in 2009. So many of my Christmas decorations and rituals hold memories of her. There are things we bought together, on our annual trips to Christmas craft fairs. Things we made together, like butterhorns and candy cane cookies. Movies we watched every year, from the original Miracle on 34th Street to Love Actually. At this time of year, her nearness and her absence are an almost physical ache.

I think, too, about the things I learned from her – from her life and from her death. When it came to Christmas gifts, Mom believed the thought didn’t count unless it was a good thought: she made giving an act of love, not obligation. She believed that beauty doesn’t have a season, and that if she wanted to listen to Christmas carols in March, March was the perfect time to play them. She proved that life takes a lot more courage than death, and showed me how to be brave.

And so I’ll face 2014 with hope and determination – I’ll dream the life I want to live and find a way to bring it forth. I’ll remember that nothing can be taken from us unless we choose to give it up. I’ll know that everything changes…that sooner or later every darkness will give way to light.

For everyone who’s far from their loved ones at this time of year, be they alive or alive only in memory, know that you’re not alone. I’m thinking of you, and wishing you peace.

6 Comments on ‘Turning Towards the Light’

  1. Lovely comments about your mother Lindsey – I’m sure it’s a bittersweet time of year as you watch the movies you used to watch together. For me this year will be a very different Christmas – I’ll be with my parents, my sister, my niece and nephew. I’ve not had a Christmas with my parents in about 30 years! Here’s wishing you a joyous Christmas and all the best for 2014. I’ll have to come over and have a visit with you one of these days now that I’m sorta in the neighbourhood! Slainte 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Alasdair. I hope you have an amazing family Christmas! Let me know when you’re in Halifax – we are definitely overdue for a chat.

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  2. Hi, Lindsey. Very nice, and thought-provoking post. Sounds like your mom was a lovely person.

    Enjoy your holidays.


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    1. Thank you, DeeAnna. Wishing you a wonderful holiday, too.

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  3. Lindsey, I continue to read your post because the wisdom there does help ease me. I have shared it with my family as well…I know I’m not the only one grieving my husband’s loss. He is loved by so many.

    Thank you for this gift. I will try to face 2014 with hope too. My love to you during this season,


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    1. Oh, Connie, that is the best compliment you can give me. Thank you so much. Love and hugs to you, your family, and the friends who share your loss. Thinking of you.

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