Holding On to Letting Go (for Valentine's Day)


Holding On to Letting Go

Today, I will let go of...

Rigid dreams
Lofty expectations
The past
Others' mistakes
The old plan
What does not work
What was

I will hold on to...

New ways
New vision
The Slinky
Silly Putty
Fresh thoughts
Fresh flowers
Innovative ideas
Creative contemplation
The big cookie at the mall
The laughter of children
Toys & Crayons
Malted milk balls
Freshly Shaken Snow Globes
One Warm Puppy...

And, all things that make me smile!

p. 102 in Handling Difficult Holidays: the Gracious Path to Overcoming Painful Times by Dr. Jane N. Geiger, M.A.


CHOICES...for the Holidays


bitter or better?

resentful or resourceful?

victim or victor?

complaining or creative?

incolsolable or inventive?

pitiful or powerful?

pissed-off or peaceful?

silent or sharing?

cursing at or connecting with?

passive aggressive or powerfully assertive?

punitive or peacemaking?

hopeless or hopeful?

mad about money or making meaning?

I see that I have choices...and I can choose, and choose
wisely...yes, I can!

Giving is the secret of a healthy life. Not necessarily money, but whatever a man has of encouragement and sympathy and understanding.
-John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

from Moving Past Money Pain: The Gracious Path to Overcoming Financial Distress and Loss by Dr. Jane N. Geiger, M.A.



Identity Question Answered

Yes, it's true

You have lost someone dear to you
Someone you love has died, funeral and black attire
Your marriage ended in divorce, ambiguous loss
Your job, career, or employement has changed

Yes, it's true
You have lost something of value
Your home has burned to the ground, photos lost
You are aging...marathons are no more, slower days
Doctor visits, money for medicine, all on the rise

Yes, it's true
You have had a change in life status
You have moved to a new city, strangers everywhere
You would pay a premium for anything familiar
Graduation, promotion, even good things
cause medical Adjustment Disorder

Yes, it's true
Your relationship may be estranged for now
Your spouse, sibling, child or parent may feel far away
Your spiritual guide may have let you down

Here's the BIGGER TRUTH:
Your identity is not in any of those external people,
places, things, or life events beyond your control.
What is true is that your identity is solid.
Your heart, your faith, your spirit is intact.
You are priceless, valuable. It's true.
Your identity is secure.
And, at the same time, mercy for your loss and pain.

from Handling Difficult Holidays: The Gracious Path to Overcoming Painful Times by Dr. Jane N. Geiger


SINGLE STORY for the Holidays

Written by Dr. Jane N. Geiger, M.A at 3 or 4 a.m. one morning (this is usually the hour God woke her up to write ALL of Handling Difficult Holidays)....this one particular piece...from the perspective of her always-single clients/friends' perspective...GRACE2ALL

Single Story

I am handling my difficult holiday
with everything I've got...
Another day off from work, and if I don't plan well
I will be alone

This is my single story

While brothers and sisters with nephews and nieces
Trump my single needs
Once again, I must trump the awaiting pain
With my disaster plan:
Evacuation - leave the hurricane of depression behind
I need to put that in my rearview, another holiday design

This is my single story

I have had enough long days, enough long weekends!
Flying solo is not bad, but on holidays...
Others in groups, families, clusters of joy
Remind me of my chronic ache for you --
My soulmate, life partner, still unknown

This is my single story

I love my sisters and brothers
Love being an aunt
Love my family
I love them all
But holidays seem such a guarantee for all of them
They will wake up in a true home filled with people
I will wake up in a house, alone

This is my single story

This upcoming holiday
I am taking my plans to the place
Where I can stay sane

It's not my first choice, but it's a good choice
It's not ideal, but it will do

It's not Clooney on Maui
But it's not awful

It IS, at least, a plan!

This is my single story

My single friends all make same noise
Working overtime, working hard, to find the joy
We all see the possible storm on the horizon, looming
Our aloneness raining down, a single drowning
Drowning in our isolation while others nearby have
They wake up together, singles arise alone

This is my single story

No victim here, just honest girl with fear in her forties
This truth and freedom to share what is real
Lets off some single angst and built-up steam
My pain, magnified on your days of holiday dreams

Thanks for listening to my solo voice, long ignored
This is my single story - a single adult wanting more
Good truth to tell to all of those whom I adore

p. 94-95 in Handling Difficult Holidays: the Gracious Path to Overcoming Painful Times by Dr. Jane N. Geiger, M.A.

Dear God,


HOPE deferred

makes the

HEART sick,

I would like to

cancel this

deferment plan.



p. 96 in Handling Difficult Holidays: the Gracious Path to Overcoming Painful Times by Dr. Jane N. Geiger, M.A.


Thanksgiving Redemption at a Restaurant

Thanksgiving Redemption at a Restaurant

Instead of my house
It was everyone's "house"

No one familiar to me was carving
Old rituals, gone
New everything
No one knew the turkey carver

It was a machine

My first mechanical Thanksgiving
I thought it would be all bad
Trudy made it good

Instead of a house filled with scents and special people
Our restaurant home was loaded with travelers
And those who mourn

Blessed are those who mourn
For they will be comforted

Our Trudy had been serving travelers and those who mourn
For decades

She had to be here
Her husband died long ago
In an accident, company machinery
Unfair, legally-tight corporate policy
Sent her straight to the
Crooked feet of
Too many years of waitressing

We tipped big

My mind was on Trudy, her story, and her loss
Her hard work, her smile and humble service
God brought her to be Jesus that day

You were not at my Thanksgiving table this year
I wasn't, either
But the travelers, Trudy, and our remnant group
made it through...
for a moment, our minds not on you


p. 70 in Handling Difficult Holidays: the Gracious Path to Overcoming Painful Times by Dr. Jane N. Geiger