Not so Merry Christmas

A family tradition my parents and I have had over the past decade and a half was to spend the weeks of Christmas and the New Year in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Two years ago, was the first time the tradition had been broken. I didn’t want to take the 8-hour drive, so I decided to stay home.

Thinking about it now, the idea of breaking the tradition didn’t stand out because I spent the entire day with a close friend and their family.

Last year, my parents and I went back to the beach. However, thinking it would be a similar experience as the last time I stayed home, this year I did it again.

Waking up, I could feel something was off. Like the last time I stayed home, I exchanged gifts, text messages, and phone calls with my parents, family, and friends but it wasn’t the same…I felt sad. It was the first time since the earlier years of my injury that I truly felt alone, and it SUCKED. To make matters worse, I had to write my latest blog “My Guardian Angel”, which is about my cousin Tadea who was murdered three years ago.

I could have called friends to come over and be with me, but I didn’t want to take them away from their families. Not wanting me to be alone, a few of them did invite me to come over to their house. I eventually accepted one of the invites and ended up spending the entire day with them.

My Christmas ended very well and I’m truly grateful for my friends who were there for me. However, this year I realized how important the tradition is and I’ve vowed to never break it again.

This brings me to this point.

It is one thing to know that many people dread this time of the year because they don’t have family or friends to spend this time with, however, to feel it is something I WILL NEVER FORGET.

I truly empathized for those who were alone and had NO ONE checking on them and I’ve been changed by this experience.

During the Holidays, remember that not everyone is fortunate like you. Take a few minutes to check on those people. Also consider donating to and/or volunteering at a nonprofit. You might uplift and literally change someone’s life.