It’s the holiday season once again! A joyous occasion!
As I get older, I am more aware of the fragility of many people, both physically and mentally. So many people have lost their partner/child, or never had one, and are facing the holidays alone, and yes, lonely.
What does lonely mean? Google suggests the following:
sad because one has no friends or company
Very different than alone. Google suggests the following:
adjective, (used predicatively)
separate, apart, or isolated from others:
I want to be alone.
So, you can see that there is a difference. Some people like to be alone but most people don’t like to be lonely.
I remember visiting my mom in her final year at the nursing home. She had Alzheimer’s and was slowly losing all functions. She did not know what day it was, let alone if it was Christmas. I always thought, maybe that was better. Then she wouldn’t be lonely, per se. Every day was a new day for her, and every visit was a new adventure, whether it was a holiday or not.
You see, I’ve been alone in a nursing home over a holiday. I was alone, and I was lonely. I spent almost 3 months there, alone in a room at the end of the hall, across from a very busy McDonalds. The drive-up speaker was the voice that kept me company, until late in the night. I could tell you what was ordered most frequently, and I could smell the french fries, which drove me crazy because I really really wanted some! I used to pretend I could wheel my chair across a busy 4 lane highway, and roll right up to the drive-thru window, and order a cheeseburger and some fries!
I did have visitors, which I greatly appreciated! Many people called, came to visit, sent fruit! or brought me McDonalds! I was one of the lucky ones. There were others who had no one. After dinner I would roll up and down the hall, and look to see if someone was alone in a room, and perhaps would like a visitor or want to chat. There were people there in bad shape, and a kind word or two went very far. At least I knew that MY ordeal was temporary. Theirs, maybe not. It just reinforced my goal of making it out of there in good shape.
So this holiday season, whether you love Christmas/Hannuaka/Kwanzaa whatever or not, please think of someone that might be lonely. A simple hello could make someone’s day. A card, or a visit or an invitation would send them over the moon.
I need to remember that more myself. I need to reach out. I need to help myself, and others not be lonely. Sometimes you just need to make that call, grab that opportunity.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas. Peace, Joy and Love to all.