Sunday, December 27, 2015


Christmas was difficult for me this year for numerous reasons none of which are of interest to anyone but me.

Difficult Christmas's have been my annual December 25th tradition.

I made the decision to stay home in my safety net with my five furry creatures.  I stayed in my jammies the entire day and moved from the bed to the sofa, not moping or feeling sorry for myself, but simply because that was my choice.  Five dogs followed me from room to room and never left my sight or side. I grabbed ahold of this blessing and kept taking one breath after another.  Never did they nag, nudge, bark or demand anything.  They just knew that something about this day was different and they would adapt to it.

I sat on the sofa for what seemed like hours with Rainie's head in my lap.  It felt warm and safe and a love I longed for and needed desperately. I traced her forehead with my finger, lingering on her closed eye lids.  Then I would lift her ears and caress them.  She would lay her sweet head in my hand, then look up at me to see if I was alright ~ a supreme comfort.  You see she was trained to be a service dog.  Not for me but for one then another warrior, both of whom rejected her in the most horrible ways.  She ultimately lost a leg.  Her skills have not been wasted however and her love of assisting when I need her is most exceptional and exquisite. Perhaps in some way she knows in a way people never can.

Last Christmas Day I spent in the ER with a severe Panic Attack that required an EKG, etc.  It had become a tradition.  The Christmas before that and the one before that held the same.  But this time it was different.  I felt confident that I could pull this one off without any adjustments to my ambulance, no calling friends and no interrupting family celebrations, no fear.  I just knew that if I had an attack I could get through it.  And at one point I did feel panic welling up inside of me and called a dear friend and she talked me through it.

I watched movies and sent text messages to many.  I survived the day.  I ate traditional Mexican tamales and sipped a cocktail.  I was alone.  I survived.  I did it.  I was proud of myself.  But the knowledge was still inside that there is nothing sadder or more lonely than being alone on Christmas Day.

The only people I saw all day was a young family. Mom and dad were walking down the street with their children as they watched then try out a new bike and skateboard. They were smiling and laughing and taking pictures.  I did that once.  I remembered.  In an instant, I caught that ever present lump in my throat begin to surface and redirected my thoughts to my furry guardians.

The next morning I wrote on facebook to my friends that I had survived the holiday with intermittent, unrepentant napping and a family of five dogs, all specialists in their own areas.

Almost immediately a gentleman responded back,
"The Warrior in you took a nap and now has woken."  These words, almost literally, knocked the breath out of me.  Yes, he was right.  He was very right.  Alone I smiled a huge smile,  I, the warrior for others, found myself a warrior for myself.  And I had indeed awoken.

And today I write.  And tomorrow I write and the next day.  A burden has been lifted and I will waste no more time worrying about things over which I have no control.  I will breathe and rejoice that I am alive and blessed with a few close friends who are there for me no matter what and love me for who I am and some friends I have never even met.

Thank you Mark for helping to wake me up with your words.