Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crazier than I thought

I've got an appointment with a counsellor in two weeks. Two weeks is a very short waiting period for a service that sees wait-times of up to six months. So now I feel guilty for commandeering time and energy and appointment slots away from people who might actually be crazy, and who need the counselling more than I.

After all, having a baby is nothing out of the ordinary.

I wonder if I sounded especially desperate on Monday? It also turned out that the social worker I met and I share an uncle - I would hate to think that this distant family connection got me in the door. Afterall, I know there are people worse off than I am. People without homes; people without friends; people who can't even afford to buy frozen turkey dinners on Christmas Day.

Outdoor decorations in the capital city

 On Monday, a colleague told this story: It was Christmas Day, about 20 years ago. Her own children were 8, 10 and 11 years old. They didn't have any batteries in the house to run some of the Christmas toys, so she and her husband ran out to the nearby gas station to pick some up. Inside, there was another couple with a toddler. They were picking up two Swanson turkey dinners, presumably to share among them. And my colleague remembers thinking, 'There but for the grace of God go I.'

I'm trying to see the bright side, but that image has stayed with me all week. At least the child had two adults in her life; at least they could afford the meals; at least, what? at least they were together on Christmas Day?

I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to church. I prefer to put my faith in trees and stars and the great outdoors, but Christmas, to me, is still a time to spend with family. To have 18 people squashed around the table, elbows in the neighbour's gravy and noses in their business. It's loud and hectic and there are inevitable insults, but I've been so, so lucky not to know a Christmas Day without friends or family.

An outdoor Boxing Day adventure. Hot chocolate and dark cake, as they should be. 
(I remember when that coat still fit)

No comments: