For me, the most important part of the holiday is connections - to family, friends, and memories. It’s a real gift to see our loved ones during this season. The contact we make with friends - the hugs and the smiles - is the real joy of the season. The storytelling of times past, remembering those we have lost and the adventures of our youth - these are the real gifts.
Few of us are part of a traditional family that has had no divorce, second spouses, or step children. There is also the challenges for those families dealing with a significant illness, a son or daughter far away at war, or the loss of a child or family member. Finding the “holiday joy” in those situations is never easy.
This year, through our work at Narus Health - I’ve come to more deeply realize that life is about the little things: the day-to-day compassion, supporting someone through an illness, extending ourselves to beyond the ordinary. This year has brought so many stories to our company - cards and letters from patients and families - simply expressing gratitude that we cared. A husband losing his wife to cancer; a senior trying to make sense of stacks of medical bills; a young man’s struggle with addiction - the one thing they all have in common is the need for connection and someone to care. To “humanize” them in a medical system that often sees them as a medical record number or a “patient.”
There are so many people looking for real connection. They want someone who takes the time to see them as a person - to help them through a difficult journey. Be that someone for a friend or neighbor. Find a way to let past differences go with family and build a connection. Tell stories, share, be present. We have this season and these holidays and this moment to be present with those we treasure; to make memories and create traditions and appreciate the beauty of life.
The warmth of compassion from another human is indeed the very best medicine.