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When life gives you lemons

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

The winter holiday that you celebrate is near. At our house, this is Christmas. You have your family traditions: the decorations around your home, the delicious foods you prepare only at this special time of the year, the exchange of gifts, the gatherings and the love you share. But this year we all have to do things differently, and it’s not easy to make some of these adjustments.

When my family began talking about how we would celebrate the holidays, the picture was bleak. Thanksgiving is traditionally a day when the family gathers together. For many years it was my favorite family gathering because nobody had to worry about gift giving. It was just time for all of us to gather together and enjoy time together. This year, we should have been in one place, but, we were not. However, we were thankful for the skilled hands of the surgeon who performed life-saving surgery for one of our own just two days before Thanksgiving. The joy of that successful surgery joined our hearts. Oh, Covid tried to interfere, but its bid was unsuccessful.

As December moved in with the cold north wind, we talked about Christmas. Should we have it now or wait until spring, I asked. I have no problem leaving our Christmas tree standing in the living room and lighting it up every day until we can be together to celebrate.

Our daughter and her 4-year-old son plan to make a Santa run on Christmas Eve, leaving filled stockings on the doorsteps of the people they love. That could become a family tradition!

I got out my white deer wearing red velvet bows to set on the lawn in front of our house. They still are standing inside the front door. I might get that taken care of before Christmas. At least there is a wreath on the front door. In the meantime, my hands are busy in my little secret workshop to get gifts finished destined for some special people in my life. (I’ve always heard that idle hands are the devil’s workshop.)

It’s the little things that matter because they add up. Each little thing we do can have a very positive effect. For instance, someone I haven’t talked with in nearly a year – because of Covid – texted me to check on my family and me. That conversation was so uplifting for me, to know that someone somewhere in my world thought of me and wanted to know that all is well with my household. What a gift! A priceless gift. A gift of love. Everyone wants to be loved, accepted for who they are, unconditionally.

Unconditional love doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be held accountable or to not have to deal with the consequences of our actions. Unconditional love means there are people in our lives who care enough to want to help us through our troubles, not fixing everything for us, but giving encouragement and helping us to access those resources we need that will empower us to achieve our goals.

Sadly enough, there are people who do not have goals, no dreams. No one who ever asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I heard this recently and it broke my heart for that person who said to me, “You always knew what you wanted to do. But I don’t have any idea what I want to do.”

There is someone I’d like you to meet if you have never heard of her, or reacquaint with her if you have. She passed away a number of years ago, but she left behind a treasure trove of books for us to enjoy. You might begin with If Life’s a Bowl of Cherries, Why Am I Always in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck. She had health issues that she kept hidden during her 30 +/- years as a humor writer. She could understand adversity, and the need for a good sense of humor in this world.

Encouragement.

Access to resources and opportunities.

Persistence and determination.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the web site at www.familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded, in part, by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

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