Jennifer wrote the following:
This Christmas Season for Shelly is the first time in her life she is without her family because they have given her no choice to be with them. Although, she feels like this is what is best for her right now, it still hurts deeply. I think the uncertainty of what Christmas Day will actually feel like without them is frightening. She does not know what will make her feel better. Hanging out with friends? Isolating? Spending time with only God ? Plenty of food? Gifts? Cards? Avoiding all things Christmas? What has worked for me is to offer what I can from food to outings together. Some obviously are Christmas related but I try to include things that are not. I also try to not take offense to things she says or writes(she reacts very quickly) as her wounds are fresh and easily reopened by even the most innocent of statements. I have tried to put myself in her shoes. It’s truly impossible. So I rely on my prayers and grace, knowing she will run the spectrum of emotions. We will laugh and have fun and she will also be sad and angry at times. I know in my heart she will build those special bonds with some close friends that will eventually feel like family and the Holidays will take on new life for her. I got a glimpse of that when she spent Thanksgiving dinner with my family. If someone out there has had their family abandon them, then you know what she is going through. For those of us who wish sometimes we didn’t have to spend as much time with our families, at least we have the choice.