Mom liked to call herself a Grinch, or occasionally a Scrooge. She found Christmas difficult, for various reasons common and not so. That was the narrative she shared each year, and we all accepted it.
This year though, the first one without her, Mary and I are surprised to find ourselves questioning that story. I, in particular, surrounded as I am at present by the things she accrued over a lifetime, in a home she built for more than fifty years, am finding evidence that she felt more joy in the season than she usually acknowledged. I've been trying to articulate those thoughts for a few weeks now, with only modest success. Over the next few days I hope to break them down into smaller, more manageable bits, to make better sense of them. If they seem like something worth sharing, I'll post them here. I'm putting this little note up in the hopes it will keep me rigorous and honest.
Even when she was bemoaning the degradation of this season, one thing she always celebrated was the winter solstice. She suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) all her life. But even just the thought that today would mark the return of the sun, the lengthening of days, the increase of light gave her a sense of hope. So in memory of Margaret Smith Lacey, I wish you all a Happy Solstice, and return of the light.