I remember discovering the word as a kid. It was a new way to express extreme dislike such as “I hate carrots and don’t even think about putting them on my plate.” It was a catch-all word – you could hate people, places, events, inanimate objects. But it just meant you really, really, really didn’t like something. The concept of pure, vitriolic, gut-wrenching hatred wasn’t a reality yet. I simply hadn’t lived enough life to know what that was and how to feel it.I am now older, and yes, wiser. As a result, I have tried to delete the word hate from my vocabulary because I have seen the results of real hatred and it is stomach-turning. I don’t want that type of karma in my life. I always knew I was a peace-loving hippy at heart, but now I actually try to walk the walk.
But the word hate still holds validity; it just needs to be used in the proper context. I don’t hate people (ok, just one but I am working on a twelve-step program with God on getting past it). But I do think I hate some situations.I hate the political division in our country. I honestly do remember a time when both sides would find common ground, give a little, take a little and ultimately come to a decision that they truly believed was best for our country.
I hate the violence that is prevalent in so much of our daily lives. Human life used to be cherished.I hate that it’s the holidays and my sister is without a home to celebrate. Super storm Sandy took her home and belongings, but thank God, not her spirit and determination. She is a survivor who makes me aspire to be a stronger person.
I hate that my sister is spending her first holiday season without her beloved husband. Though they didn’t celebrate in the traditional sense, they had their own special routines and they enjoyed them together. I hope she is able to find peace and strength in her memories.I hate that we still have thousands of military personnel who will spend the holidays without their families because they are on the other side of the world. Though perhaps a pipe dream, I pray that someday every country can find its own peace and resolution.
I hate that my sisters are all so geographically far away and that I can’t just hop in my car and go visit them whenever I want. But I am so thankful that my daughters are within that range and that we take advantage of it often. I find more and more that time spent with my girls and my grandson are the most precious moments in my life. And in just a few days we will bring baby Quinn into the adventure.I hate that we have not had a New Paltz reunion in the past couple of years and I hope 2013 brings the resurrection. I miss spending three days laughing, eating and being silly with friends that I love so dearly.
I hate that I have lost good friends who have gone to the other side, but I know they are here in spirit.I hate that many people don’t know how to say “I love you” as easily and comfortably as me. It should be said daily and with sincerity. My daughters and I never end a conversation, or a text, without saying it. I am thankful they grew up knowing the true meaning of love and they have no qualms about expressing it.
And I love that they find it important enough to keep the tradition alive. As I watched my grandson last week, snuggled in the bed ready to fall asleep, I stroked his head and said, “I love you Wyatt.” Without missing a beat, he looked at me and replied, “I love you too, grandma.” At that very moment, all was well with the world and there was no hate.Happy holidays to all my friends and family.