Dee and I got her place tidied and decorated for the arrival of her children for Christmas. I told her we’d make a great team as a maid service – she’s good at tubs and sinks, I’m good at vacuuming and dusting (and we’d hire an intern to do toilets…). When we were done, we loaded ourselves in the car (it was way past my usual bedtime, but about the time Dee begins to rev up) and went to see the lights on Girvin Road.
The photos do not do it justice. It’s hard to explain. The neighborhood didn’t just decorate their yards and the facades of their houses. They didn’t stop at the rooftops and driveways. They created this magic bell jar with giant “stars” hanging overhead, lights dripping from 30 foot trees and an abundance of luminescence so extreme, it felt like we were inside a giant snow globe or a Christmas ornament looking out.
There’s not a lot to say while you are looking at something so gorgeously resourceful. After a few oohs and ahs, we sat in silence. Because I’ve gotten a bit mushy these days, I allowed myself the luxury of sentimentality. Here I was, sober for my third Christmas, with a beloved friend I’ve known for more than 20 years. The kind of friend who has opened her home to me and advised me (in my very worst moments) without an ounce of judgement.
How fortunate I am. And because it was so beautiful, I took Lauren last night. The same incredible experience, the same feelings of gratefulness and love, but with better music.
Is it a Breakthrough?
This third sober Christmas feels like a breakthrough. It’s hard to explain – more like a hunch something wonderful is going to happen… My first sober Christmas was defined by resentment, and longing. My second sober Christmas was in the snowy Georgia mountains and fabulous, but defined by isolation. I think this sober Christmas, is defined by hope and a teary-eyed feeling of thankfulness.
It’s hard to explain. Sometimes you just have to be there…