Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Spirit of Christmas Revisited

Picture from:    justletmevent.wordpress.com

   I try not to recycle posts, but in all honesty, this post which appeared here December 17, 2011 probably says what I feel about this time of year, better than I could now.    Merry Christmas Everyone.




Picture from    selfexcited.blogspot.com


    We come to Earth as babies, and many of us find a loving mother, often a loving father, grandparents and sometimes even siblings.  Uncles and aunts and cousins round out our families, and many of us are lucky enough to be woven into a basket of loving family as we are babies, toddlers and children. We have more connections to the world than we can count, and this is how it is meant to be.  Of course, this can change. Fathers can leave or die, mothers can return to work, or pass also.  Uncles can move and take cousins with them.  Disasters can take entire families as well.   Most often we enjoy our extended families and don't begin to lose large numbers of our family constellation until we are in our fifties or our sixties, when God prepares us one family member at a time, to begin the process of realizing that we will return to Him, from where we came.
            Please try to remember this holiday season that many people have not had the genuine treasures that we associate with Christmas and the holiday season. I am not talking about presents or material things we have. I am speaking of the real treasures of this life, the love, camaraderie, shared acceptance and joy that can come from spending time together as a family.   Not only do many people not have this as children, but it can be hard to create in one's own family when one cannot recall these moments well in adulthood.
              Some of us lose entire families when circumstances take us from them, and some of us lose family when they pass to God, one by one. In any event, people are often left here on Earth without the connections to others they had when they were younger.  At Christmas, when the hype of happiness, joy, and a glorious special day is all around us, it can be a very difficult day for many people.   Please remember this, and take part of your holiday season and share it with someone who might not have the connections to family or to friends that you do.   Jesus Christ did not send a blessing to all of us on a proxy date of his birth. He sent us blessings year round. The longer we dwell on Earth the harder it can be for us to see sometimes.  And this, is one of the most important things I have learned from Daniel and also from my Dad.   Merry Christmas all.




Saturday, December 20, 2014

Remembering "Noche Buena"












                        Daniel was very fond of the alpacas that we have had here on the farm for many years.

This is the story of one of them, posted on another one of my blogs..

  Remembering "Noche Buena"





Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Abyss

                  

Sometimes the decor does not describe what we feel inside.

  

               There was a film that Daniel and the other kids used to watch periodically, called the Abyss.  They enjoyed it and we have a copy on DVD somewhere in the house to this day.   However, the abyss to which I am referring, is something a bit different.

                        Each year since Daniel and my father passed, we go into the holidays with hope and positivity. Thanksgiving often has glorious weather in Virginia, often with warm winds, fallen leaves and easy travels.  Of course, Daniel passed suddenly the day after Thanksgiving, at the beginning of the Christmas season.  With the completion of the washing and putting away of the last Thanksgiving platter, our thoughts turn to Christmas, and the weather turns cold, just as it did that one cruel year in which we spent the weekend after Thanksgiving planning a funeral rather than putting up wreaths.  The cold weather which seems to come on precisely that weekend coupled with the fragrances of this time of year has almost a transformative power to take us back to the very moments when Daniel evaporated from Earth.  Thus begins our own annual abyss.   I am not saying that the holidays no longer have joy here, because we find it somehow, to honor him and to honor my father, but during the period of time which stretches from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the abyss is a continually repeating bridge from cataclysmic days and to firmer footing in which we decide that God is indeed in control and that He still intends the rest of us to remain here and live a life as best we can.  It is however, never easy and never carefree, this new normal.  These days become less terrible than the initial ones, but never without the overlay of having suddenly and inexplicably lost Daniel, and my father just before.

                         We are not depressed, however we are ever mindful of the shortness of human days.  Each Christmas we enter the season with fewer friends and relatives than we had before.  This is normal and yet it does not seem so, so many times.

Sometimes the answer to surviving this season emotionally intact is a scaled down Christmas with only what was really important to you, and yours.


                         For many people the Christmas season is an abyss for you too.   Please know that our family is thinking of you and praying for you too.  Please know that although the season can be hard on many of us who know a loss or layered losses at this time, that eventually, we are all reunited and that eventually all will be well.  Until then, enjoy each moment of your life as best you can, and as it benefits those you love. Celebrate in the manner in which was most important to you and to your loved one who isn't with you this holiday season.  Remember that even without them, that Love never ends and that it endures all things, even our separation across the veil.   There is more on the endurance of love in a quite famous and wonderful book, but of course, you know this.