You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Reader’s request offers post-holiday reality check


You’ll never guess who gave me the best Christmas present this year.

Turns out it wasn’t my husband. He and I actually don’t do traditional gifts, choosing instead to give each other trips and travel.

And no, the best gift did not come from my in-laws, though I am in love with the knee-length denim apron they gave me featuring a chicken motif as a salute to my seven pet chickens clucking as we speak in my back yard. This awesome apron also has a pocket on the front. There should be a law, don’t you think, that all aprons should have a pocket?

Nope, wasn’t the apron.

No, the best gift of all this year came from a stranger.

Somewhere in the middle of the holiday blur I received a letter, an email, actually from a dear reader. She was thinking about her good friend who unexpectedly lost her husband this past summer.

“I was hoping to share one of your columns with her. The one where you wrote about “There’s never enough time when you love someone.”

This lovely lady’s simple request to help her find a copy of that column turned out to be a gift to me.

The best, gift really.

The gift of remembering.

As I posted the copy on my website and sent her the link, I couldn’t help but thinking of this lady’s friend, of her first Christmas without her husband of 46 years, of her friend’s ache and loneliness.

Coming to marriage and parenthood late in life means I will probably never know what it is to have a husband for 46 years, let alone lose him after so many years together.

But coming to marriage and parenthood late in life, means I have had more than my share of difficult, lonely holidays. I remember so many years where I put on the happy face, threw parties, accepted invitations from friends and family. Truly, deep down, I longed for my own special someone to share memories and traditions.

And these holidays were indeed everything I had dreamed of: Nothing fancy, but the joy of gathering my husband, our daughter, in-laws and friends. There wasn’t a single, sad lonely moment in the month of December.

It was this dear reader’s email that pinched me out of my sugar plum fairy holiday scene into an important reality.

My loneliness wasn’t fixed by my meeting the right guy, having the family.

It simply changed my now.

And while, yes, my now is pretty wonderful, the truth is, I’m most probably simply between longings. There was a long stretch before and a good chance there will another time in my life where I long. It won’t be like this last December, where I didn’t worry about my mother who is still kicking, feisty and living independently. Or one of my best friends made it through breast cancer surgery this year. My 14-year-old dog, the three-legged cat, the chickens — they’re all chugging along. Life is good, but I’m reminded it is simply a moment in time. Things will change because they do. They just do.

For those of you who are in a giant exhale, “Thank goodness the holidays are over, because they were excruciatingly painful,” I send you a belated hug and gift of understanding. Please know, this is just your now. I can’t say when things will change. But they do. They just do.

And so, Dear Reader, I’m writing this column for you, as a way of saying “Thank you.” By trying to do one kind thing for your friend, you gave a very important gift to me, and any of us who have it good right now.

You made my now all the more precious. For that, I am now and eternally grateful. I bet I’m not the only one.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes
Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes

Two Florida animal rescue facilities have taken in 47 dachshunds and are looking for a forever home for each of them. WJHG reported  that the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, Florida, and the Save Underdogs Rescue in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, took in the dogs. “They were going to be taken to a local shelter that wasn't a no-kill...
Your cat really does like you, in fact more than food, study says
Your cat really does like you, in fact more than food, study says

Cats have gotten a bad rap, at least according to a new study that found your feline really does like you, even if it doesn’t always know how to show you, and it actually likes interacting with you more than it prefers food. The study from Oregon State University researchers in the journal “Behavioral Processes” also determined that...
Greene County flu cases increased in 2017, officials say
Greene County flu cases increased in 2017, officials say

Employees at the Greene County Combined Health District say the normal flu season usually starts in October, and is over by March. But not this year. “I have four babies, all under 6 (years old), and they’re all sick,” Xenia resident Victoia McDaniel said Tuesday. About 130 Greene County residents have been hospitalized for the flu...
Increase in rattlesnake attack on dogs, Texas vets report
Increase in rattlesnake attack on dogs, Texas vets report

Veterinarians in some parts of Texas have reported an increase in the number of dogs bitten by rattlesnakes this year, according to media reports.  “The snakes are coming out of hibernation, they’re cranky and are more likely to strike when other times they might try to avoid that,” Jim Holcomb of Hill Country Animal Hospital...
7 tips for poison prevention
7 tips for poison prevention

Whether you have a baby, toddler or school-age child, your home should be a haven where your little one can explore safely. After all, touching, holding, climbing, and exploring are the activities that develop your child’s body and mind. However, according to a Safe Kids Worldwide, every minute of every day, a poison control center answers a...
More Stories