A Christmas Saga: Dealing with the Dark Side

If you read Finding the Value, Unforgotten Gift, and Cops, Kids, and Bicycles, you may have too much time on your hands. Hopefully, that is not the case, and you are hanging in to see if I have something intelligent and hopeful to say. You’ll judge that, and I hope that judgment is positive.

Many of us do our best to put the dark side of our lives away in a locked box at the back of the closet or buried in a hole somewhere. The thought seems to be, “If I can’t see it. If I don’t think about it. It won’t bother me!” If that works for you, it saddens me.

We are all products of our past, good, bad, and ugly. Trying to hide bad things from ourselves is akin to looking in the mirror and ignoring the signs of aging or damage. It means believing a lie or altering our relationship with the world around us.

My great-grandmother almost killed me when I was six months old. Thankfully, I do not remember the incident itself, but coming from a family with Old World roots, I heard the horror story repeatedly for most of my young life. Not only that, I had a visible scar running from my right shoulder, across my back, and down my left leg.

The scar was not horribly noticeable. Still, I am thankful we did our swimming and shorts-only activities with family, not at a public pool or park. Explaining repeatedly how I got the scar would have been a pain in the you-know-where.

My point is this. There is always a dark side of some sort in our lives. Surviving those dark events is as much a part of us as the memories that make us smile.

One way to deal with mistakes, tragedies, and other dark moments is to cherish the things that make us smile. Take the day David and I flew down a gravel road on our brand-new bicycles. Thinking of it makes me smile and helps me deal with the memory of the last time I saw my brother, at his funeral.

The Vietnam Memorial where David and more than 58,000 others are honored.

© oneoldcop.com 2022


About S. Eric Jackson

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