A Silent Spirit of the Season

On Friday, against all odds — questionable weather, my shoulder injury, and the unpredictability of Covid rules in various states — I’d planned to pile my sons, our suitcases, and me into my vehicle and take a two-day road trip to go and stay with my mom at her house in Louisiana for Christmas.

But it seems it wasn’t meant to happen this year.

Before finishing loading up my car, snow began to fall.

The snowflakes tumbled down in ever-increasing clusters. The street was covered in less than a half hour, and the white crystals continued to cartwheel to the ground with a windswept flourish.

In the midst of this sudden swirly veil of fluff, I was stowing the last items in the back of my car.

Unfortunately, there were patches of ice covered by the fresh snow around the sides and back of my vehicle.

I slipped and fell, my fuzzy-gloved hands landing on the ground, having nothing to grasp, while trying to keep my sneakers from sliding so that I didn’t end up on my knees.

I’d stretched out my injured right shoulder, my gloved hand gripping at anything I could find. All my weight was on my right shoulder, and my muscles were so tense, holding me in place, my body ached.

My son was standing next to me, and I was able to grab hold of his jeans, then use my left arm to pull myself up.

I think my son was afraid to grab hold of my right arm. It may have caused more harm to my shoulder.

A little backstory. I’d just gotten an MRI two Mondays ago that showed I had two small tears in my rotator cuff.

It explained why I’d not totally healed since I injured it by repetitive work (my writing, of course, and probably my posture to a certain extent) back in mid-May. I’d gone through weeks of PT and had a steroid shot in June. But the sports doctor didn’t know about the tears. The ultrasound, x-ray, and CT scan didn’t detect them.

This past Tuesday, I met with the sports doctor. I am to get another steroid shot on January 5 and follow it up with four more weeks of healing PT. He said the type of tears I have should be able to heal without surgery. From the other patients he’s had with this similar injury, he believes I should graduate from these treatments after the PT.

I sure hope so.

So, as you can imagine, I was a wreck, worried over perhaps making my shoulder worse with that fall and having put so much pressure on my shoulder.

I went back into the house and iced up, then took Advil.

My son called my mother and let her know we wouldn’t be making it to her house for Christmas. 😦

It broke our hearts, knowing how much she wanted to spend Christmas with us, her being alone at her home.

So, this Christmas will be very quiet, with my sons and I. We will put up our small Christmas tree due to our mischievous, young cats, and watch our usual Christmas movies this week.

Most certainly, our favorite Christmas movie, It Happened on Fifth Avenue, will be watched on Christmas Day.

I plan to attempt to make a roast beef in a crock pot, and make gravy, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and vegetables for the Christmas dinner. Cranberry sauce will make its usual appearance.

We’ll feast on the roast beast and fill our bellies later with chocolate chip pumpkin cookies with a dab of whipped cream and maybe even a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Why not?

This has been an incredibly hard year for me and my family, with health issues, injuries, personal struggles of faith and severed relationships.

But in the midst of this trying year, there was also the pinnacle event of my debut novel, Passage of Promise, published on May 1. A bright beam of light in the darkness.

But I know the four things I love the most will always be there: God, Family, Friends, and my Writing.

I’ve learned this year that health is even more vital than I’d thought. And I hope that once all of this separation and unexpected illnesses/injury have passed away, I will work harder on strengthening bonds with my loved ones and treasure life even more.

Life is short, and my sons, mom, sister, nieces, nephew, friends, God, and my writing are what I live for.

So many blessings. So much to be thankful for.

May God give me precious time to turn to Him every day and show gratitude for His gifts through love and creating stories that fill people’s hearts with joy and profound experiences.

~*~*~*~

Christmas Gift Ideas

If you’re looking for a nice read for Christmas, please consider picking up a copy of my book, Passage of Promise. A good escape to a Greek island and becoming part of Marina’s journey and life.

Also, I’m two reviews away from my book being suggested to readers browsing in the same genre for something to read. Thanks, everyone!

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Guest Post: Past Dawned Upon

A profound, brilliant, moving, amazing poem my son wrote last week:

Past Dawned Upon

Trekking onward,

Over hills,

Through valleys.

The sun sets,

The shadows creep,

Danger comes upon me.

***

I’ve been through here,

Once before.

Long ago.

Fear grips at me,

As I see a familiar face.

It laughs at me,

As I walk nervously.

***

I feel abandoned,

The lantern is out,

The darkness surrounds me.

I have to get out.

I can’t stay here.

They are coming again,

For revenge.

***

Can no one save me,

From this hole?

Am I doomed to repeat,

A past fate?

***

A single thread,

Is holding holding me together,

Should it snap,

What will become of me?

***

I moan within,

Nowhere to flee.

They’re everywhere,

Sucking away my sanity,

Sucking away my life.

***

Oh Light, where art Thou?!

Why have you left me?

***

This is the Trial of my Soul,

I want to reach out for help,

But I fear of dragging them down with me.

Must I fight this alone?

***

Where is myself?

I cannot afford to revert.

Anger grips at me,

Hatred,

Hopelessness,

Loneliness.

It has returned with vengeance.

***

Have I called this upon myself?

Am I a filthy man?

Surely this is not my final hour.

I shall not return to that cage…

***

Oh Light,

I cry to Thee,

And Thou hasn’t heard me!

Have I wronged Thee so?

Am I deserving of such demonic beatings?

***

I know that I am sinful,

The worst of all,

But do not abandon me!

Without You, I am nothing.

I will return to the dust.

***

I cry invisible tears,

I wear a mask.

People think I’ve got it together,

But the Temple is crumbling.

I can’t keep it up,

The beasts are forcing their way in.

Oh Light,

Where art Thou?!

***

I am failing,

I am scared,

Is it my fate to return,

To the old me?

Why have they returned to taunt me?

***

Shall I become an empty shell again?

Shall they steal my soul?

Gnaw upon it and feast?

Oh Light,

Hear my final desperate cry!

For I am at my human limit!

***

Do not let me fall back into the black sludge,

From a Past Once Dawned Upon!

Save me!

For within I weep.

If Thou shall not save me,

Who will?

~*~*~*~