Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Peace on Earth, but 'til then...

God rest you, merry Innocents,
While innocence endures.
A sweeter Christmas than we to ours
May you bequeath to yours.

Ogden Nash
A Carol for Children

Can't help wondering...
what you're wondering about this Christmas morning?

Here there are no gifts beneath a tree. No presents yet to find. There is no music in the air, no ringing of church bells nearby, not even a ringing of the phone to break the silence of this day. There will be no knocks upon my door. No friends or family come to say, Merry Christmas! their voices filled with tidings of good cheer. Yet I am blessed to have this day of peace, the only gift I ever asked for as a child, and ever more throughout the years, is finally mine. I wish it were mine to give to millions who still wish it so each year.

Last night and today there will be no drunken brawls, no children smashed against the walls, no animals kicked out the door, no fussing, no cussing, no mussing, no tears, no screams, no black and blue bruises. My arm won't be twisted behind my back, my face will not sting from an unexpected slap. My throat will not choke back the fears or blank eyes hide the torments within. No escape. Words echo from the past, It's a holiday, dear. You need to stay here with your family, and you better behave, you hear?

They're gone now, most are dead. Alone at home now, in my Christmas solitude I breathe free, know I'm safe, dare to remember other years, when it was not always so. I have only one wish now. If it could be mine to give, millions more would be like me this morning. Alone on Christmas, if being otherwise means fear and pain and loneliness so deep it can only be relieved while alone. Or with friends and family, if being together means Peace and a Merry Christmas for all.

Of course I'm wondering as always this morning about the children. Some children had trouble sleeping last night, awake with excitement waiting for Santa to come, wondering how many gifts they would find waiting in the morning. Other wee ones had trouble sleeping, awake with anxiety wondering if they had been good enough for Santa to come, or if it would be like last year, with no visit, not even so much as a lump of coal to say at least they were worth a visit, it not any gifts. Millions of others had trouble sleeping, awake with anxiety wondering when, or even if, raging, high or drunken parents would come home.

For one reason or another, most children and parents are tired and stressed on Christmas Day. Hidden disappointments, some big, others small, seem to abound for all on this holiday. There's been too little or too much of everything, and the day holds more and less before it's over. Add a few tired friends and parents also struggling under the weight of their own Christmases past and you have the makings of another unforgettable Christmas. All children deserve better. All people deserve better. We all deserve Peace on Earth, but 'til then...

A Child is Waiting,
Take care...be aware,
Nancy Lee

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