To not forget…

In these dark long days I have been thinking of the people I and others have lost as we enter this holiday season. I think of my Aunt Trudy when I hang her home-made Christmas ornaments on my tree.

I think of my grandfather when I search the night sky for Santa and his sleigh and my grandmother who played board games with me on Christmas morning.

I think of my step-mother and her glorious tree.

I think of friends and family who have lost husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, grandparents and friends— and my wish for each and everyone of us is that we take care of each other this holiday season.

May we be kind. May we be present. May we help each other as best we can and may we not forget those who have moved into the light of a new existence.

As I have been reflecting this month, I kept thinking about a Facebook post from a woman who lost her husband this past year. She posted a picture of a garland of gingerbread men they had made together last Christmas. Acknowledgement of both her loss and her love for this man.

When I was in my 20’s, I shared a number of Christmas celebrations with this woman and her husband and their extended family. And in that loving family I obtained through marriage, I learned my first grown-up lessons about unconditional love and the importance of celebrating each other and the season.

And as happens with me, a poem began to emerge from these reflections that I am now sharing with you. May you all find peace and love as we enter a new year.

Christmas Without You

As Christ is born
so again are you.

In gingerbread men
cut from bags

that sway with open
and close of door.

In baubles 
on the tree

            or the tree itself

rooted than not
from dirt and place

now lit like a greater
magnitude star—

And who of us can really
say—which is better?

Yours in poetry,


Carey Taylor Photography

To Begin Again


This has not been my favorite holiday season.

Starting in late October my life has been filled with heartbreak, sickness and emergency surgeries of people I love. I have held my daughter as her heart was shattered. My time has been occupied with end of life decision making for future events we will all go through.   It has been spent at hospitals and picking up prescriptions.  I have spent many dark nights lying in bed worrying about finances and my child’s college debt.  I have sat with my husband while the doctor explains the surgery he proposes for his lower back.  I have stopped watching the news and have resorted to watching silly comedies at night. I have cried alone in front of my decorated Christmas Tree because I miss my children.

I have no more room for the bad news of the world and when my friend sends me a book of poetry about what it is like to be a black man in America, I put it away for another day.

I feel guilty about my own small sufferings, when I know there are worse things happening in the world.  And yet it would be untrue to say these daily small sufferings don’t matter—that collectively they don’t count, now that all these losses both current and looming are forever woven in the fabric of what is now my life.

So I accept that in this moment I am sad, in the belief I will not stay here.  That I will be able to begin again, maybe in the next hour, maybe in the next day, maybe in the next year. I will begin in small ways, baking cookies, sending a christmas card, writing this blog, calling my friends and family, reading poetry.

I  will step away from my small griefs and remember the conversation with a stranger in the line at the pharmacy and how he gave me a big smile and small wave as I left the store. I will think about the man who delivered my antique bookcase in the only two hours he had left in his day.  I will cherish the book my friend gave me as an early birthday present about Emily Carr because she knows how much I love Emily Carr’s art.  I will remember the conversation my daughter and I had this morning about our plans to celebrate Christmas when I visit her in January and how bright and cheery her voice was.  I will think of my son texting me silly pictures.   I will remember the feel of my friends hand when I visited her at the hospital.

I will spend this Christmas in reflection and hold tight to days now turning toward the light.


Yours in poetry,