by Sandra Russell
We are heading firmly into the holiday season. A time traditionally spent with special feasts and reunions with family and friends long not seen. We need to connect physically with those we share so much of our DNA with and our spirit with. This is not always possible for a variety of reasons. Many who take these get togethers as inconvenient to their other busy plans have had a pause to that choice put before them the last couple of years with quarantines and other pandemic restrictions to travel. We have been forced to think about what is really important and needed to our lives, all things not being equal, some things really should be prioritized.
I know I am looking forward to hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at my place. At my age not many of my close family members are near me now. Luckily this year has been the year for cousins. I got together last summer with cousins from my father's side and it was wonderful to meet people so much like me. This holiday, these cousin guests are from my mother's side of the family and I confess I have not met some of their children. As for my immediate family, there is my daughter. She lives very far away and comes normally two or three times a year to visit. But Covid stopped more than one flight planned.
We, like many people in the past separated by war or other distance, wrote letters and included little symbols with meaning; a special punctuation to whatever words were expressed, a drawing or pressed flower might be included with the note. "Forget me nots" are such a flower. It means I am true, I am always thinking of you. My daughter and I don't send 'forget me nots' but we do send something blue...we send one another 'blue birds of happiness'. I now have a collection of little blue birds dating back to when she first went to college. They are not sent for any particular reason, though some do come on birthdays and Xmas...but more sent off the cuff, as a 'I'm thinking of you' I forget you not.
I got a beautiful little pin for my jacket last week. My car had broken down. I needed a new starter and serpentine belt for my car...was very stressed about what to do. I went to the mail box and without words...someone sent me a 'happiness'. I didn't need a note, I didn't need to see who sent it? I instantly recognized all that was being said. It really made me feel 'not alone'. I think we should all consider how we should find ways to show those we love that we do appreciate them. Time is short, and while we have the chance to mingle with folks we should not take that time for granted. Maybe this holiday you can find an emblem for your family or a single loved one, and start your own special tradition? I'm working on something maybe for the dinner? A quote to remember or a song. Symbols can deepen in meaning shared over time and experience. Something to think about?