|Words and photo by F LoBuono|
Like many others, as I get older, it seems that Christmas and the entire Holiday Season, no matter what your religious affiliation, just becomes more and more of a pig fuck. Don't be shocked. You've heard me use that term before. I often use it to describe my time on the Red Carpet Movie Premiere Circuit: Lots of squealing. Lots of jockeying for position. All signifying nothing. Well, hasn't Christmas become just that? I mean they start selling shit to us more than a month in advance. We run around like chickens with their heads cut off to shop, to make parties, to make commitments, to make nonsense. It just obscures the message.
So, every year, I say the same thing: Screws this. I NEVER needed this. I most certainly don't need it now. Bah, fuckin' humbug! And this has been a particularly trying year for me - personally and professionally. I have weathered the collapse of my marriage. I have witnessed incredible loss and heartache through my assignments with Hurricane Sandy and Sandy Hook Elementary. As Jackson Browne puts it, Doctor, my eyes have seen the heartache and the tears. Perhaps, I've seen too much. But, when I do feel this way, I'm always brought back to the other side of that coin - to the yin side of the yang. I have also seen the unconquerable human spirit, the will to survive against all odds. I have witnessed the humanity of man. And I've seen it overcome the horror of man, as well. The best in us was displayed far more often than the worst.
On a personal level, I had reaffirmed what I have always known: my family and friends are unshakable in their love and support of me. They are my rock, my salvation, my heart. And I have learned. Man, have I learned. All I've ever wanted was to be "bigger" tomorrow than I was today. It's what I strive for. And, as all of my dearest friends told me, that if I could only hold on, I would achieve that goal. They were right - I'm fucking HUGE. I am at the height of my powers because of all of this. I am confident in my direction and, most importantly, in my heart. And I am not afraid. Not anymore. Not of anything. Except, perhaps, the dentist.
I still didn't get a tree. But that's OK. I've never been much into all that show, anyway. I did string lights, though - white lights. Simple and clean. The way I like it. Pure, white, light. And I had the most wonderful dinner with my family last night. Unfortunately, it wasn't the Feast of the Seven Fishes which, as Sicilians, we ALWAYS celebrated as kids growing up. It was part of our Christmas traditions. But Stella's turning 89 and isn't physically capable of all that effort. My sister is not so inclined. So, we went to a friend's restaurant, a fellow Sicilian, for next best thing. We had a delicious dinner and we were TOGETHER. And it was wonderful. I'll miss dinner with my delightfully insane Hungarian in-laws. But I'll hold them in my heart. In the meantime, I think that I'll count my blessings - if I can - I have so many - rather than curse my misfortunes. I am home, warm, have my health, my family, my friends, my dear Red Cat, my writing, and most of my sanity. Yes, Margaret, it's been a good Christmas.
PEACE ON EARTH. GOOD WILL TO ALL MANKIND.