Orendain: We who sit waiting

Leticia Suarez-Orendain

CHRISTMAS came and left. On its wake were gift wrappers and memories of a happy time with friends and family frames in tinsel and blinking lights.

New Year is here and on its noisy wake will be more or less the same joyful chaos whenever mankind celebrates a festive milestone.

How about those who had a Blue Christmas and expect a Bluer New Year? Those who sit waiting for some pain to go away are forced into a box called Cheer Up, Celebrate and Don’t be a Kill Joy. Maybe society forces people who are sad to be happy at Christmas and New Year. It urges these blue people to celebrate.

A friend, Thelma, lost her husband on July 7, 2019. Near the end of last year she said there is a hole in her heart that can’t be filled with laughter and activity. Only for a while is the emptiness filled and then the loss of her dear friend, partner and soulmate returns. Nighttime is hardest for her. And I am sure, birthdays, wedding anniversary and holidays will be even harder.

I told my friend that the cadena de amor of time will cover the hole. “But the hole will be there. I know where it will be,” she said.

To tell her to cheer up would be like telling her to forget her husband. They who sit waiting for the pain and loss to leave them need time to take hold of their new life.

“I guess I have to find what my new mission is,” my friend told me. Her wisdom struck me. Even as she was feeling the empty side of the conjugal bed, she grasped at hope. Surely she has a new mission in life now that she is alone.

What can we do for those who sit waiting for the sun to shine in their lives? What can we, who are crazy celebrating the new year, do for those among us who cannot pretend to laugh from the heart?

The best I can do is not to force the person, my friend, to act happy. I will not pressure her nor will I isolate her. I will reinforce her spiritual grounding with what I have. I will encourage her whenever she takes a step to find her way again.

Since I cannot hug her because of our distance, I will send her my favorite blanket. It’s made of “bear skin” material, soft and cuddly. It has a huge image of a white dog and her puppies in a snowy forest. They sit there looking at something from a distance. The blanket has muted colors: off white, cream, light gray and charcoal gray. I have hugged this blanket whenever I was afraid. Maybe it is just my imagination, but the blanket made me feel I was safe. I hope it will do the same for my friend.

How about you? What do you plan for those in your life who sit waiting?