You wanted a peaceful, comfortable Christmas, with all reminders of poverty, injustice, or other people's griefs well out of sight, so as not to disturb your pleasure. That isn't what Christmas is about, Wallace. Christmas is about offering hope to all people, not just those like ourselves. Christmas is about everyone: rich or poor, friend or stranger. The moment you exclude anyone, you exclude yourself.
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It was not something you could call friendship; it was at once less and more. The sharing of such experiences created a bond and set them apart from all others. It was not something that could be told to another person. There were no words with a meaning both could understand which would impart the physical horror or the heights and depths of emotion.
Sometimes we bring to a struggle or cause the gifts we see most clearly, a courage, a strength, or a charm others have told us we have. But often we find more is asked of us than that, more than we intended or thought we possessed. We are asked to offer that which we thought dearest, to forgive what seemed unpardonable, to face what we feared the most and endure it. Sometimes we have to travel to the last step a path that was not of our own choosing. But I promise you this... it will lead to a greater joy in the end. The difficulty is that the end is beyond our sight, it is a matter of faith, not of knowledge.
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Please don't think so lightly of liking someone. It's terribly important. It is a kind of loving, you know, and one that frequently lasts a lot longer than romance. You can fall out of love, as well in. Most of us do, especially if you don't actually like the person as well. It doesn't always grow into love by any means, but sometimes it does.
He was perfectly capable of looking after himself, although after his marriage he had lost the knack for it. He missed the comfort of all the small things Charlotte did for him, but these were nothing compared to the loneliness. There was no one to talk to, with whom to share his feelings, to laugh, or to simply speak of the day. And he missed the sound of the children's voices, giggling, their running footsteps, their incessant questions and demands for his attention or approval. No one interrupted to say "Look at me, Papa" or "What is this for?" or "What does this mean?" or the favorite "Why?" Peace was not peace anymore, it was simply silence.
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Too many women waste their lives grieving because they do not have something other people tell them they should want. Whether you are happy or not depends to some degree upon outsward circumstances, but mostly it depends how you choose to look at thing syourself, whether you measure what you have or what you have not.