ometimes I miss Skye beyond words. If you have grandchildren you don’t see often, you know what I’m talking about. There should be a whole set of words in the dictionary to describe this ache. It’s been too long since I’ve had that little girl in my arms.
The coming of Christmas, with all the sentimental commercials on television, just makes it worse.
We Skype, of course, and my daughter, Bonnie, sends photos. I particularly missed Skye recently when she won Queen of the Jungle.
I can imagine the pictures taking form in your minds, so I should clarify right now that this achievement involved neither royalty nor a jungle. It has to do with reality TV. Think about celebrities going into the bush and trying to survive. That sort of thing.
Skye had to put up a tent and sleep in it overnight. In the schoolyard.
But it rained.
She earned Queen of the Jungle because despite the drippy circumstances she never complained once. Bonnie sent me a picture, and when I saw it I really missed Skye. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to say how proud I was of her. But she was far away, across the ocean.
This made me think of all the people who are in the position of missing their children, whether because of incarceration, immigration, or other issues that cause separation as a consequence of policy. Missing Skye because of my own choice to live and work in the US gave me small insight into people who are separated from their children because of difficult decisions they’ve made in response to circumstances most of us can’t begin to understand.
In my book, judging those people, or their decisions, is something we should do with caution.
The sentimental holiday commercials (and movies, if I’m honest) may make me miss Skye, but they also remind me—and all of us—of the love and generosity of the season. It’s a time to see real people with real lives and allow love and our shared humanity to guide us. We measure our humanity by our love for one another, and it’s worrying if we lose sight of this.
You may be missing someone this holiday season. All of us can recognize that feeling of wanting to be connected and imagine what it could mean if we used it to power the bigger decisions we make together as a society.
Now where is my picture of Queen of the Jungle? As a loyal subject, I am due to pay homage to the queen.
South Shore Mental Health