Families and Christmas

This will be my last post for the year, and as I reflect on the holiday season, I am reminded of Christmases past and times spent with family. No, I’m not going to make a Hallmark statement here. In fact, just the opposite.

Family dynamics are complex, and this complexity often fuels suicides, murders, depression and a host of not-so-great emotions like envy and fear–especially this time of year. Having said that, you may be expecting me to pass long pearls of wisdom gleaned over the years on how to deal with family issues. Ha!

My best advice to you is to become a mystery writer. That way, you can kill off the in-laws or anyone else in a story. Don’t like Aunt Tillie? Then get rid of her! Change her name, of course, but think of all the delightful, creative ways you can dispose of her body. It’s actually quite therapeutic.

Okay, enough of the dark humor. My point is, just try to laugh it off and find a way to release your family frustration. Christmas comes only once a year, and then you can resume your normal life again.

One thing I learned from Enid as I was writing this book is that you can’t always make everyone in your family happy. Sometimes you have to do what’s right for you–and then deal with the consequences. As I’ve said in previous posts, Enid is much more courageous than I, although she doesn’t always make the right decisions. But do any of us?

On that note, I’ll end. Enid and I wish you Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year! See you here next year.

Life’s Intersections

Sometimes in life we come to an intersection where we have to make a decision about which path to take. One decision takes us in one direction; another decision in a different direction altogether. We’ll never know what might have happened had we made a different choice at that intersection. What if … ?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the tragic shooting in San Bernardino last week. Farook and Malik likely came to several intersections where they could have taken different paths. Their choices ultimately affected not only the victims and their families, but the entire country. What if they had made different choices?

Rosie’s killer faced such intersections, and then a decade later, Enid faced her own decisive moments. As a result, her actions took her in a direction she had not intended. Or was her fate so strong that she was destined to take the path she did?