I deal with depression. Churchill had his “black dog.” I have Dorothy and her gems.

Who knows why Dorothy is in my life. Maybe it started with kids and postpartum. Maybe it was too many life changes at once, a real loss of self-identity in my early 20s. Maybe it was sheer decision fatigue for an enneagram 9. Whatever the reason, she’s here. And there are dark moments, dark days. I don’t like to dwell on them.

I do, however, believe that joy would cease to be a true joy if suffering ceased to exist. The highs are defined in contrast to the lows, like light and dark. I feel it is an injustice to my narrative to pretend that there are only good moments.

But, hey. I like good moments, so here are a few from this past Christmas. It was one of the best Christmases that I can remember.

I’m rather proud of this photo. It was the perfect moment. We had just come home from Christmas morning Liturgy, our hearts brimming with the joy of Christ’s birth. John couldn’t wait to open presents with the boys. We all got cozy next to my late Nana’s Christmas tree and all its blueberries.

Damien, age 2, helped me open my gifts. I really enjoy the giving of gifts through the holiday. I’m still learning about getting. Damien was an excellent teacher.

John showed Damien how to unwrap presents by ripping off the paper. Lukas, 7 months, was fascinated by the paper. Together, they got the job done.

After Lukas woke from his nap, and before our families arrived for a gift exchange, I walked to my Grandmother’s house. She’s 98 years old and was married 65 years before losing my Paw Paw.  I often wonder if she deals with her own version of Dorothy.

Lukas and I aim to visit her at least once a week. These two have become good buddies. He melts her wrinkles, worry, and loneliness. She loves him 100% without distraction. She cheers him on constantly, telling him how he’s ‘a picture of health’ with all of his baby fat.

John and I took a selfie. How wonderful it is to remember, especially when Dorothy is here, the bliss of this moment. I felt pretty. I felt loved. I felt connected. I felt like I was where I was wanted and where I was supposed to be.

It is right to remember the good days and the present moment.

To quote one of my favorite Rising Strong themed heroes, Dr. Seuss says:
“You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done. ”

The “un-slumping” phase and my time with Dorothy cannot define who I am. But how I spend my time and what I tell myself is important.

Oh Lord, I believe! Help me in my unbelief.

Leave a Reply