Circumventing Holiday Maps

“Carin, I’m so sorry. One of the things that family does is share memories of the past. You should talk about your mother and your girls should share their remembrances. We keep the love and specialness of those we love alive in the sharing. 

It’s a common loss and sharing with family should help ease the pain. Then you create a cycle and establish a model for others to follow. You hold the memory of loved ones close to your heart and remember your mother with others who loved her.

Now you’re just alone and your daughters, who knew and loved your mother, are alone with their memories. The richness of your mother’s life is lost in the void between you and your daughters.  

I’m praying for you that your mother’s spirit and eternal love will create a path for you and your daughters to find each other and share like a family again. Take care.”

~Supportive words from a dear friend some months ago. 

Coming up on my fifth year of holidays without mom or my girls, reflections are on par with Mulan singing the same fore mentioned song to herself.  Patterns make their way of regularity, only to dismantle and morph into a different zig and zag. Grieving for the dead and living, a process uneasily understood, somewhat explainable. Yet, our words are spoken and we yearn to be heard. 


Holiday maps offer winding roads far off our regular beaten path. During the holidays, allow yourself to feel. Ride the bending road. Know you’ll eventually find your new groove. Healing comes in increments. There is no certain path. God’s got that one covered. 

Here’s to you. Here’s to your family, including those you don’t like so much. Here’s to awkward Christmas gatherings and joyful hymns. Here’s to tolerance and love. Here’s to a dude named Jesus, born on Christmas Day, who had a pretty rad life. Here’s to coping with pain, holiday cheer and not-so-cheer. Here’s to appreciation, gratitude, mistakes and misgivings. Here’s to loss and acceptance. Here’s to open and softening hearts. Here’s to holiday maps and everything that goes with it. 

Here’s to us – you and me – who keep on. Keep the faith.

Peace, kids. 


We’ll find each other soon. ❤


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