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This Time of Year

Here it is, November 28th. Many of our homes are beginning to look festive as we ready ourselves for Christmas. Others will celebrate the holidays is various ways; but there is one thing many have in common. The empty chair at the dining table, the empty spot on the couch, the empty stocking that hangs by the fireplace. Another year will soon be gone and there is little hope that the next year will bring change. We need to remember those who have incarcerated loved ones, not only at the holidays, but every day of the year.

There is something about this time of year that is perhaps a bit more painful for those suffering the loss of a father, mother, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, or friend. Knowing that they are living in cages across our nation, being disrespected and lonely. They won’t be sitting beside their families watching a Christmas movie, they won’t be wrapping gifts, or caroling. Nor will they be feasting with their families. Life has to go on for those on the outside, and so it does. Other loved ones will arrive, dinner must be prepared, the tree must be decorated.

It must be challenging to work so hard to please family and friends, knowing that the one you love is not going to be a part of the festivities. It can’t be easy to smile through the pain, so others assume you’re not falling apart. Even as there are moments of cheer, there are moments of great sorrow.

Please reach out to your friend or family member who is going through this this year; and to all who have a loved one that you will not see this holiday season, I wish you great warmth and great hope.

Sandy C. Freese

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