Saturday, December 26, 2015

Now I Understand

Christmas is the worst time of the year for me because I have no family and it is a time that revolves around family. I've always thought I was being punished for something... having a horrible temper as a teen, not having enough faith, not taking opportunities when they were given to me. I've questioned what I did wrong my whole life.

On Christmas Day, I perused through the tons of family Christmas photos. Some had so many people that I couldn't count them all. Spoke to a friend Christmas Eve night and he said he was going to a nephew's house. They were having an overflowing amount of family there.

I said, "It seems as though some are overflowing with family and some have none. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground."

It then dawned on me as I reflected back to the photos of families. They just don't have a clue what it is like to be alone. Not a smidgen of a feeling how overwhelming it is at Christmas and throughout the year. It isn't because they don't care, it is because they just don't get it.

When I do find myself in the presence of others talking about their families, I am put in position of having to explain why I never got married or had children, why my family members had died years ago leaving me here alone and explaining that there's nothing odd about me. I simply want the same things as they do: to be loved, to love and feel like I fit in somewhere. So if you are reading this, please know asking me why I never got married and assuming all kinds of bad reasons puts you in the "I don't really care so I'll make it up the way I want it and spread gossip" group.

I have found myself involved in others' family Christmas days before. It is there I feel the extreme loss of my mama, daddy and brother. It is there I am reminded how alone I am. It is there I feel more lonely than I do any other time of the year. Christmas is a time families share old memories, make new ones and look forward to tomorrow. I'm just standing in the corner along for the ride because someone didn't want me to be alone. I sit in the background listening to them talking family talk finding no place for me to fit in. So I remember my own Christmas days, family memories, and cry because I don't have a future with my family. And I feel more alone than if I had stayed home alone in the first place.

This world has changed drastically. Those who once were compassionate to people outside their safe little world are now afraid to be so. It may be a scarier time, but compassion and empathy are needed now more than ever. It doesn't cost a thing to listen to someone and when I say "listen" I don't mean respond with "I....me...". I mean listen, really listen for it is the sign of a true loving heart. There are many of us out there, those who are alone 365 days a year. Most people remember to care at Christmas and forget the 364 days left. Try some compassion this year. Empathize with someone. Get out of your safe family cocoon and reach out to a hurting soul for a change. That family is a blessing from God to you. Try sharing a blessing with someone who doesn't have one.

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