The need to create a merry environment in honor of Christ’s birth and promise is deep within my bones. I have spent each spare moment of the past month getting ready for the main event: the holiest of days and most sanctified events, Christmas Day.
I remember vividly when 9-11 happened. I— along with my brother and father— watched the second plane fly straight into the stately World Trade Center. We stood in front of my parent’s television in our former home in Washington, North Carolina, mouths agape. Later that evening as news reports and images of a war scene on the streets of New York City unfolded, I remember feeling as scared and helpless as I’d ever felt. I remember thinking that life could not possibly become worse here in the USA. Our pride and freedoms had been assaulted at home… on our soil. So many precious lives lost. Then I became an Army girlfriend then wife, and survived the stressors of my husband’s deployments to Afghanistan. Once, I heard a bomb explode during a phone call he made to me from a firebase in the middle of Afghanistan. The call suddenly disconnected. I became hysterical. I thought, “things could not get worse.” Years later, mass shootings began to happen here in the US regularly. We almost became numb to the monthly, weekly tragedies. I once again thought it could not possibly get worse. Especially, the evening the news broke of young children murdered in a school in Connecticut (Sandy Hook Elementary)— as I held my three-month-old son in my arms. And now, here we are in the year 2020.
If social distancing has taught me anything, it is to try my best to remain on a positive minded track. Have I done this consistently? Nope. I’ve had my meltdowns for sure, but through timeouts, interventions and prayer I find my way back. Here is a list I wrote down to remind myself to remain grateful and positive with the hope that this phase of life will end and a new better chapter will begin.
The past months have been really trying thanks to Covid-19 as well as so many societal issues. Some days it feels as if the world is coming to an end. Like we are all going to be swallowed up whole. But, despite it all, I am inspired by the resilience of humanity. Our ability to adapt and change. To fight for ourselves and what is right. To find the best in the worst of situations. Our real care and concern of others. I know if you turn on the news or read comments on social media, it might paint a different picture. But I believe that most of us want the best for one another. I know, because I see it daily in my community and my inner circle. Tonight, I’m sending out a prayer for all children in the world. A prayer that will cover them in what is good and true. A prayer to guide them to inner peace, love and joy.