Eve eve

I have never looked more forward to the holidays than this year.  This month, work has more than crept into my personal life what with meeting deadlines, bringing work home, and being strapped to the computer weekdays and weekends -- writing . . . and more writing.  (Ain't I a writer?!)  To have my husband admonish me and express that work is affecting our quality of life is not something I particularly enjoy, especially when I'm absolutely exhausted and pressured to bring funding into our agency.  Not sure how I survived the last couple of weeks . . . did I mention that I have three more proposals to submit before the new year?  Two super significant grant applications out of the way, and I do feel a little relieved . . . though not quite out of the woods yet.  To remain grounded, I ask myself, when I'm dead and gone, will it really have mattered how much I worked . . . or how much money I brought in?

What's kept me somewhat sane are a couple of holiday parties I attended with our kids in foster care and in our early childhood education centers.  To see young children's eyes mesmerized by Santa's presence and gifts that seem to appear out of nowhere in holiday bags taller than they are makes the work I do well worth it.   As I witness toddlers' absolute surprise at meeting Santa at a childcare center in East Flatbush (Brooklyn), I can't help but be overwhelmed as they crowd around Santa and burrow their faces into his cheap, red velvet suit. 
Knowing that these might be the only presents they receive all season as their parents struggle to overcome their mental, emotional and financial challenges, what I do is just a tiny piece of puzzle.

While I've had work to distract me this month, the holidays can't stop me from thinking about my Dad.  This morning, I woke up from a terrible dream.  My dad had collapsed, and I asked the folks around us to call an ambulance.  No one seemed to understand me.  No one knew what to do.  I reacted immediately and dialed 911.  Thank goodness I woke up . . . frightfully feeling sad and abandoned.  More than three years later since my Dad's death, I certainly hope it's no indication of my Dad's spirit being stuck in a bad place.  Maybe it's just my coming off the intense stress of work that's colliding with my missing my Dad.   

A more welcome vision . . . A. shared that he experienced a quick peek into the future - this time next year.  A young boy with a bowl cut in a white t-shirt sitting at the dinner table with us on the eve of Christmas eve.  I hope so . . .

Wishing friends and family near and far, a sparkle-filled holiday season of peace, hope, & magic . . . Be charmed . . . love & light.