Hot Cocoa and Pine Cones
Sitting there in subtle silence, she stared through the frosted glass, rocking quietly and contently as the snowflakes tumbled from the sky. The wind blew and they began to pile up outside, around her little, country cottage. The white drifts blanketed the yard seeming to suffocate the earth and all that lay beneath. The image caused her to reflect on days gone by, when she too had felt suffocated, smothered and repressed. It seemed inconceivable that only 3 short years ago she had given up on life. Weighing well over five hundred pounds, feeling as though every Christmas might be her last, the holidays brought overwhelming sadness with them.
Glancing around the room in full awe and appreciation of the crackling fire, her mother’s handmade wreath on the door and the twinkling pine tree in the corner, she could remember a Christmas that was not so charming and perfect. With profound melancholy she recalled sitting abandoned and alone in her little one bedroom apartment, an empty can of ravioli on the counter and a single Christmas card from her mother, standing upon the television set. Wincing at the thought of her massive bulk wedged tightly inside of her groaning easy chair, she remembered the utter hopelessness she had felt and the lonesome existence she had been forced to accept. The isolation and solitude were the hardest things to endure, and she had longed for someone, anyone, to talk to, to laugh with and to love. The stillness of her home was overwhelming at times causing her to wonder if she might, one day, die of a broken heart. The days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, all seemed to fuse together, with her sleeping as much as fourteen hours a day just trying to get through them. With no family, presents or Christmas spirit, there was absolutely nothing “happy” about the holidays for her.
Three years ago on New Year’s Eve, she watched the ball drop in Times Square on her 19 inch television set. As the confetti fell from the sky and the crowds of people hugged, laughed, cheered and danced, she sat alone and made a wish, a vow or maybe a resolution. Praying for something better, she launched a request out into the universe yearning for just one more chance at happiness; just a single opportunity to turn her life around. Feeling dizzy for a moment, she rested in total stillness and then, suddenly, a barrage of tears began to rain from her eyes. An endless torrent of long, buried frustration and sadness surged from her body and suddenly she began to feel free. An unexpected sense hope, courage and possibility emerged and with that single wish came the bravery that she needed to turn her life around.
Today, experiencing a brand new healthy life at half the size she had been, she took the time to count her blessings, and there were many. Gazing into the fireplace she watched the flames dance and smiled as the wood crackled and popped. At that moment her companion, lover and best friend stepped into the room, smiling, carrying two cups of steaming hot, peppermint cocoa and she rejoiced in the magnificent gift of second chances.