‘Tis the season to be happy, jolly, and full of sugary drinks and food. The holiday season not only ushers in the spirit of good cheer and festive living, but it ushers in the memories of loss, separation, and disappointment. I miss my parents. I miss my siblings. I miss my relatives who live many states away. During the holiday season, the loss of my parents has weighed heavy on me at times and so has the distance from my family. Through dealing with the feelings caused by the distance and separation, I learned the impact of success and professional and personal growth on the connectedness of families.
I have found that when we don’t have biological family members around us we work to create a network of people who can simulate the supportive, sharing network found in a family group. These self-made families, for me, have been women on an adult women’s tennis team, women from a bible study group, people who live on my block, parents of the friends of my kids, people I work with, and sometimes people who work with my husband. With the holiday season upon us, I spent time thinking about holiday decor, gift buying, family traditions, and the anticipation of having my kids and their friends around to light up my front room. During this season, I also think about those families impacted by the football coaching carousel.
Most football fans don’t realize that when head coaches are fired or when they agree to separate from organizations, the assistant coaches and their families most likely find themselves pondering and waiting to figure out in which city their coach will find the next coaching opportunity. Those families will make gallant efforts to have everything seem very normal in their homes for their children, spouses, and partners. Those families will be considering the meaning of normal and asking how their normal became chaos and uncertainty. Those families will be contemplating whether or not to pack the articles of clothing they fold in the laundry basket. They will consider to whom they should donate the clothes and household goods the family has outgrown. As a tribute to those families who will experience a wide range of emotions this holiday season, I offer a repost of a blog I wrote some time ago: “Moving Day.”