Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spread Hope

Mommy put the dirty clothes in the oven instead of the washing machine. Mommy said it didn't matter that the clothes burned up. Mommy said she never cooked anyway.

Connie wore her pajamas to the first grade Christmas party. Mommy said the other kids wouldn't laugh at her, not if she wore eye make up and lipstick. Mommy said they would be jealous.

"I can still feel the tears burning in my eyes because of the mascara smearing," a grown up Connie confides. "Having a mother with mental illness that bad changes you. I still fight bitterness. I want my life to be healthy. I want Christmas to be happy. Will you teach me how to make a Christmas?"

How have happy Christmas memories changed you?  Who taught you how to make a Christmas?

I sat silently drinking my tea, pondering on life without Christmas. Trusting people is hard if you have known betrayal. Loving people is hard if you have known ridicule.

Connie laughed. "You don't know where to even start with the likes of me, do you?"

I stood up and smiled. "First we're going to toss together soup in the crock pot and put the bread machine to work making rolls. Then we are going to decorate cookies, make some ornaments and talk about traditions you can start today."

She jumped up and pulled me into a hug. Like a child, I realized, full of hope and excitement.

A child... A child who just wanted a Christmas.

Who do you know that is mentally unstable? Who do you know that is sick, angry, confused, hurting?

Change your world. Notice people. Spread hope.

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