She stood beside the window watching the soft snowflakes attempting to drift to the ground. Sudden gusts of wind would pick them up, swirl them around and carry them off beyond sight. The winter weather like her thoughts were hectic one moment and calm the next.
Today was December 4th, three weeks till Christmas Day. Christmas ........ her favorite holiday. A time for family and friends. A time for giving so others could have a wonderful holiday. Wait a minute that was years past, this year nothing, not even a twinge of holiday spirit.
She avoided the stores and crowds. Even the few small gifts that she had decided to purchase had not yet been bought. The bright lights and Christmas carols only made her sadder. All the shoppers were in a hurry and didn't have a clue to the pain in her heart.
Outwardly she smiled and returned the Merry Christmases that were directed at her. Memories of better years and happier times crowded her mind and brought tears to her eyes. No one suspected how bad things were for her and her husband, she put on a brave front and to others everything appeared normal.
They had finally managed to get some refinancing completed and that helped to ease the burden somewhat. It was a harsh reality that in doing so the bank had forced them to close some of their major credit card accounts. It was a necessary evil, "You have to get your debt load down before we can assist you." was what they had said. How embarassing to have total stangers in charge of your life and placing conditions on it.
Gazing out the window across the wind swept yard she remembered better times. Times when her husband had been healthy and Christmas was the most wonderful time of the year. She had enjoyed picking a family that could use some assistance and shopping for food and presents for them. The look of joy on the faces of the little ones as they opened the gifts and a mom with tears of thanks glistening in her eyes. And now she found herself thinking back to a time when she was that single mom and someone did for her what she had so proudly paid forward.
So many things to be thankful for and yet her heart was broken. They still had their home, she had a good job, they could still pay the utility bills and buy groceries. So what was missing .........her pride, her self-esteem ........