2020's holiday season brings as much grief as joy

Bookworm penned a heartwarming and uplifting Merry Christmas to all the other day.  Did me good to read it as each day's fire seems to die down to embers of deep sadness.  I've lost friends and family, at least one to the virus.  Normally I'd count them all among the falling leaves in the autumn of my life and move forward, but not this year.  We feel the loss of so much more.

Our country is divided, and our great American unified vision is gone.  So too is any confidence in those faithless Americans who perpetrated an unfounded impeachment; engaged in every sort of fraud to steal a presidential election; and unfairly cast blame widely for the crashed economy, unschooled children, and despair perpetrated by their own lies.  I grieve with my compatriots all across this land.

Many were lost to the arrogance of those who required infected elders to be housed in infection-free facilities.  They were our historians, our storytellers, whose heritage we are, those who loved us without reservation, whom we held in the deepest recesses of our hearts and the earliest memories of our lives.  We truly lost touch, or rather had it stolen from us.

Even more have drowned in the wave of unreasonable panic felt by leadership who blindly reserved health care resources only for those with one specific virus and allowed cancer, heart disease, and depression to steal away others who would have otherwise survived.

The increasing epidemic of anxiety-driven abuse — substance, alcohol, spousal, emotional, and physical — can justifiably be laid at the feet of our local leaders who are charged with our domestic security.

Tyranny, the T. Rex of political systems, this year has appeared on our shores for the first time since we threw off our British overlords more than 200 years ago.  Governors, legislatures, mayors, judges, city councils, school boards, their unelected minions, and even a handful of federal officials seem to think they occupy positions as kings, princes, popes, and knights errant, answerable only to themselves.  That so many, even the worst of hypocrites, were re-elected this year is shocking.  It is small comfort, but comfort it is, that their local crime rates are climbing, their cities are burning or boarded up, they trashed their own economies, and those who elected them live in fear.  Just deserts, I'd say, and I'm upset with myself for saying so.

Elected representatives forced penury upon single mothers and college students who depended upon their tips to make it from month to month.  So many small businesses are gone forever.  Lives have been cruelly interrupted.  They've tried to destroy faith communities, along with our First Amendment freedoms.  They allowed only some to seek redress through peaceable assembly.  These tyrants have had their knees upon our necks not just for nine minutes, but for nine months.

Thanksgiving is when we gather to celebrate the bounty of our country, recount our blessings, and give thanks.  At Christmas we gather to express our love for each other by spending time together, giving gifts, sharing home-baked treats.  These are times too for poignant memories of departed loved ones.  No melancholy remembrance, not in this year of solitary celebration.  Grief, and despair over ruined dreams, broken lives, and vanished livelihoods, rises like cold smoke to choke the mind and heart.

New Year's, though, is different.  That's when we gather in the street with strangers to welcome with hope the prospects of greater fortune and happier days in the coming year.  We dress up, we dance, and sing, and drink, and shout, and kiss with abandon.  If they rob us of January 1, let's dry our eyes and return the favor on January 6.  

Please continue to pray for our country

Anony Mee is a retired public servant.

Image credit: Vane, public domain, via Pixabay.