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I have always felt mixed feeling as the holidays come rolling in each year.

To be honest, melancholy hints here and there.  I usually end up looking at old pictures during the season and feel sad when I think about people I’ve loved who no longer are around me.

Bottom line, I miss having them in my life.

My husband has insisted on celebrating this year with extra joy.   So, I’ve set it in my heart to decorate every possible room during Thanksgiving this year.

I tend to decorate a week before Christmas and almost immediately take the tree down a week after and some years if it’s lucky, it makes it to the 1st of January.

It surprised me that he’s looking forward to these holidays.  His dad passed away at the beginning of the year.

Last year, our Christmas was full of fear, pain, multiple coming and going to a sterile hospital room, and sadness.  In spite of it all, we tried our best to stay as happy as we could during the season for our kids.  My daughter was home for the holidays and the important thing was that we were together.  During Christmas Eve all our children would be under our roof.  People who have adult children know this is rare and we need to appreciate it when it happens.

Why does he want to celebrate our holidays with so much enthusiasm?

After I gave him a puzzled look, he said, “You know what, life is meant to be celebrated, and we have to be thankful  our boys, my mother, your parents are still around and we’ve always found happiness in each other.”

Our boys are heading out to the world this upcoming year.  One is moving to San Juan, the other is already job hunting as his graduation is coming closer.  As a Biotechnology major we’re sure he will be out of our house pretty soon.

My daughter will not make it home this year, instead she’s sharing her Christmas with her boyfriend’s parents in  Arizona.  Pretty far away from home if you ask me.  I’ll miss having her home for the holidays, but such is life.

I find it daunting that during the holiday season some find it so unbearable that they take their own lives.  It’s a well-known fact that suicide risks and rates are extremely high during these times.

Life is about finding joy and happiness in the small things.  It’s darn easy to fall into a sorrow pit mainly because during these times we evoke all the loss we’ve experienced in our lives, but nobody said life was perfect.

Last week was specially hard on me because a complete family was killed in their home by a tenant who owed their dad monies for  past due rent.  A thirteen year old boy was the only survivor.  We’ll really never know how  after they stabbed,  beat, and  threw him off a bridge he managed to get up and climb a 46 feet distance, which is truly a miracle.  However his life  changed forever, he no longer has a family to celebrate the holidays.  His mom, his dad, his grandmother, his brother who had turned fifteen that very same day,   killed right in from of him.  I grieved for them and for the two young men who killed them so viciously.

This is our world.

We need to accept it and move forward even if it hurts like hell.

Events like these usually make us close down  our emotions, but I think we need to open them even if our heart bleeds in the process.

Joy or sorrow?

Which path will you take?

Even as things flounder here or there, I’ll take the joy path.  I think I’ll join my husband in his enthusiasm this year and become content with what we have.  Yesterday isn’t really worth pondering too much about because it’s gone and nothing we can do will bring it back,  tomorrow will take care of itself, which leaves us with only one choice “mis queridos amigos” it’s all about now and here wherever that is.

For me it’s on this tiny island in the Caribbean, with so many flaws, however with so much beauty.  Our tiny paradise in this vast world.

I hope wherever you are, you can listen and see whatever brings joy to your life and if you find nothing then,  close your eyes and evoke a memory that does.   Happiness can come in every form or way, you have to give yourself an opportunity.

So my dear friends, try your best to have a great Thanksgiving and never stop believing in yourself or the good of life.

“Hasta la proxima.”