Chapter 2…Happy Holidays!

I’ve been off the grid. Nothing life shattering. Just. Life. In the past, I would have stressed. I’d push myself. Write. Get it done. Post. Something. Not now. I stop. And enjoy. Don’t get me wrong. I love writing. Connecting. Sharing. But life. It’s precious. And I need to enjoy. Cherish. And live. In. The. Moment. I don’t want to look back and say, “Shoulda.” I want to look back and say, “I did.” So. I am. Busy. With family. Friends. Baby. Sweet. Precious. Moments.

I spoke of this with a friend the other day. He was kind enough to point out the “unobvious.” “You are moving on. You are okay. You don’t need “outlets.” Or venting mechanisms. You’ve figured it out. And let go. He was right. And. It felt so good. A giant leap in the world of grief.

‘Tis the season. To be merry. Bright. Happy and light. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But. Not for all. Despite the highs, the little “lows” creep in. We fight. We push back. No matter how hard “we” try, we can’t forget. We don’t want to. We should never forget. There is a piece missing. A piece that will never be replaced. Recovered. It’s an empty space. Whether it’s a day, a month, a year, or ten, the holiday season can be tough. Bittersweet. We are inundated with songs reminding us to surround ourselves with loved ones. Buying presents reminds us of the one we won’t buy this year or ever again. But. There is hope. And a way to survive the season with smiles. Follow your heart. Your way. And make the BEST of the holiday season.

Simple suggestions for holiday survival…

Share memories, stories, prayers to honor your lost loved one. Light a candle. Donate to a favorite charity. Display a picture or ornament amid holiday decorations.

Sit back. Take a break. Don’t try to overdo. The holidays. Still there. You can recreate them to be whatever YOU choose. Whatever feels good in YOUR life. At that moment. For now. Next year may be different. But honor today.

Support is crucial. Ask. Take. Give. It’s really okay. People want to help. More than not, they just don’t know how.

Surround yourself with positivity. It’s contagious.

Stop struggling with your feelings – feel them, accept them.

Say how YOU feel. If you’re happy, shout it out. If you’re sad, share it. Don’t stuff it or “suck it up” because you’re “supposed to.” Stuffing and suppressing leads to more “sucky” feelings. We all have “something.” Sharing is caring.

Serve others with the gift of yourself. Small services can fill your heart with an abundance of joy.

Spend the holiday with family and friends. They are the greatest gift we have. We may not wrap them. Or tie them with fancy bows. But they are there. Today. Tomorrow. Forever. With love.

Stay stress-free. Focus on NOW. Today. The “stuff” will be there tomorrow. Let it go. And just enjoy.

Seek out the blessings, gratitude. They are EVERYWHERE. Sometimes hidden. But if you look. You will find them. And they may even surprise you.

Select activities that bring joy. Smiles. And happy feelings.

Skip nonsensical activities. If you don’t care. Don’t go. If you’re stomach’s churning. Don’t go. If it doesn’t feel good. Don’t do it. Pick one. Maybe two. Push. A little. Outside the box. You’ll know. Your choice. Each year. Just might be a little different. Hope.

Speak up. If you don’t want to participate. Don’t. No rules. Just. Your rules. It’s okay. Whatever YOU choose. No judgements.

Set aside time for YOU. Exercise. Eat healthy. Sleep. Take care of you. You’re the only one you’ve got!

Surprise someone. It might jolt an unexpected joy in your heart.

Steer clear of those who pressure, “bring you down,” or simply cannot accept YOU! This is no time to doubt yourself, your feelings, or your actions. Believe in you. Honor yourself.

I am grateful for all of you. For your love, support, and friendship. You have comforted me through some of my toughest days. You may not know it. Emoji hearts. Words. And smiles. They all touch my heart. They have lifted my spirits and given me strength to move forward. To keep moving. To live. A very full life. It will never be the same. Holidays will never be the same. But. I am accepting the “different.” And that’s okay too.

Wishing all of you the happiest of holidays. May this year bring joy, love, and an abundance of peace.

Mikki Eveloff

I am certainly no princess, but I did marry my Prince Charming. We had the once upon a time and the “almost” happily ever after until August 30th, 2014 when my Prince Gregger died tragically on the beach in Maui. I believe in fairytales. I believe in fate. I believe that “everything happens for a reason.” We planned a lifetime together…75 years to be exact. Someone or something changed our plans and gave us a new “ever after.”

So here I am. I am still a wife, but now they call me a widow. I am a mom and grandma…three children, two in-laws, and two grandchildren. Life has changed and it’s time to move forward. It doesn’t stop, it keeps on going, so I do too. It’s my choice. Be happy, be grateful. It’s the only choice.

I have a treasure trove of memories to share..it’s how I keep the happily ever after alive. A True Love Fairytale is 40 years of memories…it’s the essence of our happily ever after. It’s the imperfections of our perfect marriage. And it’s what makes today beautiful.