If I could hug you in person, I would. Instead, I’m sending virtual hugs to all of you. This time of year is already exhausting, but for so many of you, your holiday world looks different this year. Or, maybe it looks like it did last year, only it’s harder now.
Maybe you haven’t seen your elderly loved ones in over a year due to COVID. Maybe your mom was just diagnosed with a life-threatening kidney disease. Maybe your dad just had major surgery, and you’re the only person close enough to take care of him. Maybe this is your first Christmas without your beloved grandmother. No matter the situation, my guess is you’re hurting, exhausted, worried, or depressed.
Please remember you are not alone. You have a community of people around you, including me, who are cheering for you, even if it’s from a distance. I won’t ask you to take a break and lay by the fire (although you should try- research shows caregivers are at a higher risk of getting sick themselves due to elevated stress levels) because I know it’s not feasible. Cancer doesn’t break for Christmas. Heart disease doesn’t take time off. And life goes on while grief stands still. And it all sucks, I know.
So, while the rest of the world is drinking wassail and singing Christmas carols, know you’re doing something truly meaningful. You’re taking care of someone who needs you and appreciates you, even if they don’t say it and even if you don’t feel it. Keep begging your parents to get out of bed and do their exercises. Keep ensuring they take their medication. Keep fighting the good fight. The holidays will end and everyone else will go on about their daily lives. You keep doing what you’re doing. Finish the race, no matter what that may look like.
If you’re reading this, and you aren’t currently dealing with a difficult situation, reach out to someone who is and let them know they’re loved and supported. Send a virtual hug. Send a hug emoji. Send flowers. Send cookies. Try to do something to brighten their day or lighten their load just a bit during this difficult season. You, too, can make a difference in a life today.
Praying for you all,
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