The blue cup above is a treasured Christmas gift from a potter friend. John, my husband, passed away in 2016, and I moved to New Orleans soon after that. When I got home from a Christmas lunch in 2018 and opened my friend's gift, I was stunned. I had shared sailing stories with the group over the years, including John's mantra, "On we go!" as we sailed through squalls, made our way through reefs, and pressed on even when it got rough and we were miserable. Seeing the cup, I gasped, sobbed, and smiled. It was perfect, reminding me of love and tenacity.
Holiday gifts used to fill me with dread. My mother once gave me a Chanukah card with an article folded inside about children who didn't visit their parents enough. On my 25th birthday, after I had started a new life with John, madly in love and living on a ferry boat, she sent an old gray bathroom rug with a ragged hole cut in the center, and suggested I wear it as a poncho.
I'm so grateful for the love and support of the people in my life now, and for the outpouring of support from readers. This year, I got a new grandson and the book I had worked on for so long was published. Years ago, I could never have imagined that my life would take these wonderful turns.
This year, I'm spending the holidays with my daughter in Vancouver, Washington, and delighting in my eleven-month-old grandson. All of his grandparents will be here (John's here in spirit) and he will be awash in love, as it should be.
Holidays can be difficult, especially after loss, but they also bring the opportunity to acknowledge the wonders in your life. I wish you all a serene, loving, joyful holiday. On we go!