Sunday Reflections: Last Christmas, I Gave You My Hope
The girls and I woke up last Christmas in an empty apartment full of nothing but hope. There was no tree. There were no lights. There weren’t even any dishes to eat a take out Christmas dinner on.
You see last Christmas, we had hope that our lives were going to change. I had been offered a dream job at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County. The Mr. was interviewing for a job that would have put us on the path to great economic stability. That was all we had last Christmas, hope that our lives were finally turning around and on a path to something that would resemble functionality.
But The Mr. he didn’t – get offered that job and we couldn’t figure out what to do next. Just like that, hope was pulled out from under our feet. Which is how I ended up having the most unconventional job year ever.
This Christmas, we still have no idea what is happening in our lives. I’m home for Christmas, but shortly after I will leave to return to Ohio where I work. I’ll miss out on days parenting my girls but the bonus is they’ll get to eat and wear clothes that fit and they will have the outside appearance of a stable home. And don’t get me wrong, I’m a child of divorce and I am very aware of all the many shapes, sizes and visiting packages that modern day families can come in. It’s just that, The Mr. and I actually really love each other and we don’t want a divorce, we just want jobs. So this living away from my kids thing feels . . . weird, heartbreaking, insert whatever adjective applies here.
Tonight I am having a Christmas party. A Doctor Wholiday Party to be more exact.
Perhaps it’s because I am tired of sleeping on a friend’s couch or on an air mattress in an empty apartment. Perhaps it’s because I’m trying to make up for the lonely echoes of last year’s Christmas where my girls opened gifts in a great expanse of nothingness and uncertainty. Perhaps it’s because I’m trying to find my hope again.
When I was The Teen’s age, my favorite groups were Duran Duran and Wham. The other day I hear someone singing Last Christmas. It was obviously a remake because it was a female voice. But man, I used to love that song.
“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart but the very next day, you gave it away. . . ”
Last Christmas, I gave you my hope. The very next day, you gave it away. Well, technically, it was a few days later when The Mr. found out that no, he didn’t get the job offer. But that’s how I’m singing the song in my head this year.
This Christmas I can’t even hope anymore that the situation will soon resolve itself. Hope is dangerous. I’ve had hope before; I’ve tried to have hope most of this year. I think my reservoir of hope has run dry. Maybe Santa can fill my stocking with hope. Or better yet, some type of job security for both The Mr. and I – in the same state.
I said I didn’t have hope anymore, but I think I lied. Whatever you may or may not celebrate this holiday season, I hope you are warm, fed and loved. I hope that 2016 is a year where goodness and friendship and good books wash over you and keep you.
I hope that your heart is moved by the words on the page of a book that touches the very core of who you are in ways that can never be measured.
Filed under: Sunday Reflections
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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