It has been a little over one year since the Tubbs fire destroyed our home of 30 years and everything material that made up our lives. Having been married 41 years in 2017, that encompasses a lot. In the past few years we had lost parents and thus we had quite a few of their cherished belongings in our home as well as our children’s baby pictures and all of the collected items of life. As an artist, I lost not only years of collected supplies, but every journal and piece of art that I had created as well as a newly built dream studio that had almost reached completion. And as every artist knows, a bit of your soul goes into every piece you create.
I find it disturbing when people brush off our loss by declaring it was all “just stuff.” To us it felt like losing our parents and grandparents all over again as well as previous forebears. And when I see my new beloved granddaughter, I mourn the fact that I cannot compare her to the images of my son and daughter when they were her age. And now we come to the Christmas season; a holiday filled with traditions that have been held dear for decades. One of the items our grown daughter was sorry to lose was the Christmas elf that had been hidden throughout my childhood prior to Christmas and had also been hidden for her and her brother every year of their lives; even after each had homes of their own. As my husband and I bought a few decorations for our new home this year, I found that I could not even consider (this year at least) trying to replace my lifelong collection of ornaments, each of which held a story of some kind. So we found Alpine trees that have no need of ornaments to place in a small group in our living area.
I know this is not my usual post of a digital Daily Graces quote, or a photo or artwork. Yet I feel it needs to be said for so many more this year have also lost all that made up their material lives. So please think twice before you brush them off with the “it was just stuff” line. People must be allowed to mourn such losses without anyone diminishing said losses.
As you enter this holiday season take the time to treasure the gifts you have including those items that make your traditions so comforting as well as the loved ones with whom you share the holidays.