I realize most people have no clue what it’s like to lose a loved one near Christmastime. I never in a million years dreamt that I would be one to experience that. My friend Kim lost her mom on December 9th. My friend Jeanie lost both of her parents in December…one on December 4th and one on December 5th, a few years apart. My mom died on December 16 (as you read in my earlier post), and we had her funeral on the 20th…five days before Christmas.
Can you imagine what that Christmas was like for me three years ago? It certainly wasn’t “merry.” I pretty much cried the whole day…I cried through opening gifts. I cried through dinner. I cried throughout the afternoon. I cried. Bill, Ali and Zach were grieving as well. I remember Bill holding me as much as he could throughout that first Christmas day. Christmas is still hard for me as I miss Mom.
But through that Christmas, how painful it was, we began new traditions with the four of us. Traditions that have been a blessing in the change in my life of losing mom. I consider these newer traditions a gift, and I’m grateful for them. One of them is that we now spend Christmas day together…just the four of us at home. I absolutely love it! Today I began to plan our menu for our Christmas dinner…Zach wants ham and pumpkin pie, and Ali wants corn casserole. 🙂
This isn’t a happy time of year for everyone…I’m living through that–missing mom–and I see it in the people I get to interract with at Mission of Hope. Some people have lost loved ones like I have. Some people have lost their children with the choices they have made in their lives,. Some people don’t have fond memories of past Christmases as a child, and it’s painful to remember those experiences. Some people are hurting, and don’t feel like celebrating. Some people have no home to celebrate Christmas in.
I encourage each of us to look around us. Who needs us? Who might need something we can give? A word of encouragement? A sack of food? A hug? A Christmas card? A phone call? Someone to just listen? Some hope? Some love? I may look like I have it all together at Christmastime, but I admit, on the inside I’m a prime example of someone who needs a little extra TLC this time of year. There are many out there in much worse situations than me though!
I love Christmas, and what it means. But…I miss Mom. This has been a very trying week for me, and I’m expecting a week from now to feel similar. But I’m thankful I have a few people in my life who have stood with me throughout this week. I appreciated Marsha’s encouragement on Thursday, and her understanding. I have cherished Tina checking up on me Wednesday, Thursday and today. I have found strength in talking with my brothers this week. I have needed Bill’s reassurance, and even though I “lost it” today, he stood beside me and loved me through it. After all, he’s grieving, missing Mom too.
I love wishing people I come in contact with a “Merry Christmas,” and I always have. I will continue to do so. But I do understand that not everyone feels “merry.” We each one of us can certainly experience joy, though, which is different than being “merry,” in celebrating what Christmas is all about…
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ ” Luke 2:10-11
So, no matter how you are experiencing the Christmas season this year, to you I wish you a joy-filled, blessed Christmas!
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