I know what it’s like to be separated from family on Christmas.
I know what it’s like to have a Christmas dinner featuring roast beef tips from the meat packing plant that employs some of the work release guys.
I don’t ever want to experience that again.
We talked a few weeks ago about keeping straight for the holidays. It still applies. But for some of us, there will be the pain of separation. They will wake up Christmas morning on a cold mattress, wondering if anyone remembers they are there. Maybe someone you know needs a visit or a card to let them know they are not forgotten. If you don’t have a visitor’s clearance to a correctional facility, you may know a family member of that person left behind. There may be a sorrowed mother, an anxious spouse, a wondering child. Drop by, give them a call; they feel the pain of separation too. It can break some of the tension, and ease some of the loneliness.
But not just for them, for you too. One of the things they teach in the rooms of recovery is that a good way to stop your own pity party is to get out of yourself, and do something for someone else. I’d tell you to go shovel somebody’s snow, but it looks like it’ll be a warm Christmas in most of the country. But sweep a walk, give someone a ride, buy a small unexpected gift, expecting nothing in return. There is someone impacted by incarceration whose day you can brighten today. Writing this to you has helped my day already, and the holiday isn’t over yet. I need to bring a few more smiles into the world, and dry a few more tears. Join me.