Years ago one Christmastime, I was alone. You know, that utterly alone that happens to all of us? My parents were in constant battle with me, my brother was working abroad, none of my “friends” fell under my guidelines of what I would consider to be true, and I was a single and disillusioned girl.
It was Christmas Eve and I walked down to the beach to ponder my pitiful existence, as all people seemed to go to the beach when they have a pitiful existence to ponder. I felt this was the appropriate thing to do.
I felt sad and sorry for myself. I found free a coconut tree near the lagoon, most of the others were being used as delusional screens to hide the carryings on of amorous couples. I watched the waves break in the darkness and found myself occupying my sad little brain by trying to figure out their pattern that night.
I looked to my right and about 20 feet away sat an elderly man who seemed to be doing the same thing. He caught me looking and winked…I think…I was dark and he was 20 feet away. I swear he looked like Santa.
Normally, I would have run, but this man was so obviously kind that we just started talking. I moved closer to sit next to him in the sand so he could hear my whining and complaining in all of its pitiful detailed glory.
His name was Fred. He smiled and nodded understandingly at my complaints.
He told me about his life, too. How his 2 sons were virtual strangers to him, and how when his wife had passed away nearly 3 years ago he nearly fell apart.
It was nice to talk with someone. I began to gain a little perspective. You can never tell how bad someone else has got it.
The next morning I saw Fred fishing for his breakfast in a garbage can outside a fast food restaurant.
I treated him to a nice Christmas breakfast that turned into Christmas lunch. We talked for hours and had a wonderful day together. Neither of us were alone for Christmas that year after all.
Have a Merry Christmas.