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November 6, 2017

By: Debra Benson, Woman of Malvern Retreat House

Good morning! I am sharing with you my thoughts from the vantage point of a woman with many titles: deacon’s wife, mother of four and grandmother to four great grandkids ( I’m not prejudiced, only honest.)  But my favorite “handle” is gogogranny.  No, I don’t wear those white boots from the 60’s and 70’s.  My handle comes from the fact that I have been actively involved in my grandchildren’s lives from the beginning, running here and there as their parents have to work.  I am sure grandmothers everywhere can relate to my situation.  The bond that has formed over time will never be broken.  We are making fond memories together.

As I am running daily, I am fortunate enough to have Sirius radio and listen to the Catholic and EWTN channels in the car.  One day a woman called in, and as I listened to her share I realized she was telling my story –  sad childhood, poor holiday memories, feelings of not being loved enough.  Like myself she was determined that everything for her family would be different.  Like me, every occasion, especially Christmas, would be perfect – Hallmark perfect!  She was overcompensating and suffering from burnout.

I don’t remember anything else.  I knew the Holy Spirit was trying to show me something through that one simple word, overcompensating.  The holidays are upon us, and I need to rethink how I am going to do things this year.  My husband does not like the fact that I am so grumpy, stressed, tired and frustrated all season long – UGH!  I am pulling back and letting the Holy Spirit guide me going forward.  I cannot recreate the past.  In this present moment I have begun asking family members what means most to them at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The answers have moved me to tears.  They are moments in the here and now that would never fit on a turkey platter.

So going forward I will begin by making this liturgical season more present in my personal life and in our home.  Blessings, gogogranny!

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