They're putting up the Christmas decorations here at the rehab facility. One of the staff members and I got to talking about what we put on our own trees and she sighed, saying she hoped her recently ex-husband would give her her share of their collected ornaments.
I'm going to have to build some new traditions, she said wistfully.
The holidays are notably difficult for people going through loss and/or depression. All those Santas ho-ho-hoing and jingle bells jingling can make a body feel out of step with the universe.
I said the usual stuff -- good cheer isn't mandatory but you might find happiness in trying to bring it to others -- volunteer somewhere, be a Secret Santa, or, as she had said, think about starting your own new traditions.
She asked how long I'd been married and when I told her, she did the wistful smile thing again and asked for tips . . .
Dogged perseverance on both sides, I said, along with a sense of humor and a lot of shared history.
It's got to be rough, finding yourself holding the empty bag of a failed marriage. But this woman is fortunate in having a good job and a place like Asheville to live in.
I've never been in her situation but I found myself wondering at what response I'd have. . .
She is young enough, I'm sure, to hope to try again for a better relationship but that's what seems to me the tricky bit. I think I'd counsel her to work at making a good and enjoyable and meaningful life for herself rather than putting everything on hold till Mr. Perfect Husband comes along.
What do you all think?