5 years ago, my mother passed away.
I post this sad fact not in an effort to extort sympathy from my readers, nor to explain why, if you saw me, I was subsisting largely on Egg Nog Lattes and Moose Munch.
I still miss her every single day.
It seemed cruel, then, that her passing coincided with what had always been one of my favourite times of year. Even when I remember that she was very, very sick, and even when I remember that if she had recovered from the direct cause of her passing, she probably wouldn't be with me now. It still seems unfair that Christmas carols make me cry.
Now, I try to remember that her passing coincided with another winter holiday: the winter solstice. Most precisely, the day after the solstice; the day when the light begins to return. Yesterday was the shortest day of the year, the darkest, longest night. Some traditions burn fires on this longest, darkest night to call the sun back, to serve as symbols of faith that the sun will return, warmth will be restored, and the wheel of the year will keep turning. And tomorrow, the daylight will last a bit longer. According to Weather Underground, 1 entire second more of daylight.
And it is in that one second, meagre though it is, that I find my hope, that I find cause of celebration. Because as sad that I am that Mom is gone, in that one extra second of light, I can find hope. That one second of hope leaves me just a little bit stronger for all of those seconds when there isn't much to be found.