The fast approaching holidays often become somewhat of a stress since we have multiple children which suffer from various food sensitivities. It does require a certain level of planning in order to normalize life.
I often find myself in this massive web (so fitting since today is Halloween). A web of fibers spun out of fear. The tug and pull of each strand is a tug on my heart. I struggle with feelings of isolation, frustration, and anger. Why can’t things just be normal for my family?
Why can’t we just go to a family gathering and eat all of the traditional foods? Why must I pack my house to be in the company of others? Why can’t we just go to a restaurant as a family? I’m left with two choices; let the web engulf me or find resolve.
I begin to unravel; we spend an endless amount of time trying to be normal and trying to fit in. Normal is just that; where as uniqueness brings forth beauty. Instead of trying to fit our square family in the round world. I begin to think outside the box. I struggle with the feelings of loneliness; but, more so it is clearly selfishness. I am the one disappointed that once traditions are nothing but a past and I am the one spending endless hours in the kitchen in order to see that all of the traditional holiday experiences are safe for my children. I do this to eliminate the risk of cross contamination and potential use of wrong ingredients from well meaning hosts. My selfishness is directly driven from fear; a fear of a relapse but with good reason.
Although, my actions are fear driven and well intentioned. There are still options. I have the option to stay home and make new traditions with my family. I can still recreate the “traditional” meal in order to partake in an extended family/friend atmosphere. I live in a land that has more than enough. It is my job to see that what I am given becomes the beauty it was intended to be. I have been given a blank canvas to recreate, make a new, and spread good news. I am an artist. No, my friends I can not draw. I can however, cook, create, invent, inspire, and encourage others in similar situations to do the same.
If you find yourself in a similar slump of loneliness; think beyond the ordinary and create something new. That might mean creating new traditions, recreating meals, or being in the company of those in similar situations. Think outside the box and be the good new; life does not end with a diagnoses but rather creates an opportunity to be the gift to others, the gift of hope.