Not the Happiest Holiday Blog - Reader Beware

Over the past few months, I’ve had some concerns in my life and I have struggled not to fall into a depression. For the most part, I think I’m managing okay, but then something like today happens and I have to ask myself, am I really okay?

I was driving over the bridge today from Fort Myers into North Fort Myers and there was traffic as we merged into only one functioning lane. I didn’t see any signs about road work, so I was perplexed until I reached the cause. There was a police SUV who was riding slowly behind a homeless man as he made his way over the bridge. He couldn’t keep his bike on the little bit of curbing, and he was struggling with his possessions to keep the bike upright as he trudged along. He obviously couldn’t manage to ride it with his belongings and the steepness of the bridge.

At first, I thought he was in trouble for crossing the bridge in this manner, but then I realized the police officer was protecting him. I glanced over at the man and saw he was toothless, his mouth concave, and I lost it. I burst into tears and sobbed all the way home as my heart went out to him and every single person who is struggling in this country, the land of opportunity. It is just so damn hard for people to survive right now. There are so many people with jobs whose wages don’t match their exorbitant rents or mortgages and add to that our astronomical food prices. People with children trying to make the holidays special for them, always wondering if they will be able to pay their next monthly bills.

I don’t know. I see homeless people all the time, but the look on this man’s face just broke me and I’m literally crying as I write this. I’ve always told my kids, we’re all one step away from being homeless regardless of our current monetary status. It can all be taken from us with just one illness or loss of job. We must never take our comfort for granted and always be respectful of those who have less. Even people we perceive as rich can have their lives crash down on them at any time.

I’m sorry for not having a more upbeat post this holiday season, but I think part of my reaction today is due to the fact that it is holiday season and the forced happiness I must convey to everyone. I miss being a kid again even though we were piss poor, and I miss having my children young again. Although I have grandchildren, due to circumstances, I don’t get to celebrate too much with any of them. Things just aren’t the same and this year in particular, with people I love struggling with illness, and other concerns I will not share, the struggle is real. But I will get in the spirit, just as I always do because I will be with my family and I will provide them the best time possible. Just like I did at Thanksgiving. I know I’m not alone. There are many people who suffer during holiday time. But some years are definitely better than others.