Messy, beautiful, awful, wonderful

I don’t know why the aspects of life are amplified at Christmas – but they are.

Bad things happen all year long.

People are sad in each of the 12 months.

Exciting triumphs happen in each of four seasons.

Heart-warming moments pop up on a daily basis.

But there’s some sort of magnification of all these in the month of December. Maybe it’s because our hearts are a little more open or we are a little more emotionally vulnerable.

It seems as if, in the last few weeks, I’ve witnessed, or have had knowledge of, many sad situations.

A beautiful woman, a great wife and mother, and a professional in her business life, is dying of cancer.

An accomplished, stellar man is battling the same disease as it is suddenly ravaging his body.

A couple is now the process of divorce and trying to explain to their little ones why there’s two Christmas trees this year . . . in two different houses.

A young man is struggling to raise his son, alone . . . and working hard to just pay the rent and put food on the table.

A woman – who types for her livelihood — went to walk her dog and fell on the ice, breaking her arm.

Pipes froze in a house, flooding a retired couple’s basement – not just once, but twice in one week.

Thinking of all this . . . we realize how messy and awful life can be. Especially at this time of year when everything is supposed to be sparkly, bright, festive and full of love.

Sure, life isn’t perfect – but it has its moments.

I’ve also had knowledge of beautiful, wonderful things.

A man is beyond thrilled that he found a coveted (and increasingly rare) Spiderman coat for a little boy in the Adopt-A-Family program.

A woman is excitedly waiting for a washer and dryer to be delivered to her house – as she starts the adventure of living as a courageous single mother.

Three little kids got up early every morning this past week to hunt for the new hiding spot of their “mystery elf,” which is a stupid looking toy that somehow brings chuckles and joy.

Care packages are being lovingly boxed by local hands for soldiers who are far, far away from home.

Families gather around the beds of their loved ones – not focusing on the obvious but reflecting on lives well lived.

A woman found herself staring at a 30-year-old photo of her and her sisters – now thrilled that they were able to raise chickens as kids and share such special moments on the farm.

A lady decided to finally get a mammogram, for the first time . . . as a gift to her family.

A single tin of homemade cookies were found on a front step – the recipient was thrilled because it was a tasty, personal surprise that included extra chocolate chips.

A boy wearing a Santa hat gingerly helped an elderly woman with her groceries over the ice and slush – then packed her parcels and tucked her inside before wishing her “a great evening and a very Merry Christmas.”

A woman is sharing her artwork with a friend to create special family gifts that will be treasured for decades.

A simple Christmas card arrives in the mail, creating a smile and a special memory about the sender.

It’s not just trees that are illuminated during the holiday season – it’s also our emotions and our sensitivity to the situations around us.

During this time, may we all see how messy, beautiful, awful and wonderful life really is . . . and appreciate the lessons every aspect brings.




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