“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Canadian poet Leonard Cohen’s words reflect the hope inherent in a blue Christmas.
Zoomers know all about cracks as this season often reminds us of the plethora of losses we have experienced in our lives such as the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage or children leaving home. Loves lost and those which were unrequited. Regrets.
And happy memories of Christmases past.
A first married Christmas when love was as fresh as the newly-fallen snow. A Christmas where young children giggled under the covers and snuck out of their beds hoping to spot Santa coming down the chimney. A tree resplendent with colourful and sparkling decorations with an angel sitting perilously on top. Aromatic baking in the oven and the cacophonous sounds of a noisy, lovingly dysfunctional family gathered around the dining table.
With the relentless, mock frivolity this time of year suggests and the incessant refrains of ubiquitous saccharine songs assaulting our senses, it is hard to feel jolly when one is grieving or reminiscing about Christmases long gone.
I am reminded of another Christmas past…a Christmas which took place over fifty years ago. A little girl in another time, another place. A seven-year old with long braids and crooked bangs and a missing front tooth. A Christmas dinner of goose and duck is long over. Santa has come and gone. The sleigh ride, the angels in the snow and the snowball fight are but a memory as she struggles for sleep. Her tummy is rumbling, the nausea becomes worse and her head is spinning. In the darkness of her bedroom, her Christmas ends with a moan and a flood of projectile vomit. She hears familiar footsteps and a reassuring voice of her dad who comforts her. “There, there, Daddy’s here…everything will be all right.” She feels better already, safe and nurtured in his loving arms, oblivious to the chaos she has caused.
It’s easy to dwell on the nostalgia of past Christmases and exalt them in our memories. It is tempting to linger on the cracks and wallow in our sadness. But Zoomers, we can and we will let the light in.
If you are still breathing and have a pulse, be grateful. If there is at least one person who cares for you, be thankful. If you can laugh at all the indignities of aging, be appreciative!
For what is this Christmas season all about? It is about light…and hope. Regardless of your religious beliefs or lack thereof, the story of Christmas is about the birth of Christ who symbolizes light. We Zoomers are filled with light. We look forward to each new day and new experiences. We still love, laugh and live! We are filled with a continued sense of awe at the wonder of it all. We volunteer our time selflessly. We donate our money generously.
We may be older but we still have a lot more to contribute…much more to say…and many more memories to make. And hopefully the light we cast won’t be solely from our Smartphones!