I must begin by wishing all my readers, all those who are experiencing difficult times, and especially those of you who are spending their first Christmas without their dear loved one, a MerryChristmas. Jerry always held his candle high and it is missed. This is a time when the silent night, Christmas Eve, becomes even more silent. This is the night when the world stands still. My heart is there with you. I truly love you.
Christmas. It's the most celebrated time of the year....and the most stressful! Seriously, Christmas seems to be so intense. So much of it is all the anticipation of the "perfect" Christmas. So many emotions are flying with busy-ness, disappointments, fussing, thrills, excitement, loneliness, missing our loved ones, memories...the list goes on and on. Why do we all get so crazy?
Along with Christmas is my son's birthday. Today was crazy. He was suppose to fly in for his birthday. Hoping for standby, his flights were full and he didn't make it. It was a huge disappointment. Then it got worse. All of a sudden, the much anticipated night at the Angus Barn Steak house went to "H in a hand basket". The babysitters, one by one, called in sick, one of the kids came down with a fever, everyone was in a "poopie" mood. I said, "COME ON GUYS! Scrap the POOPS and lets get it together! We're still going to have fun tonight!"
Two days ago, I took my sweet 5 year old grandson to see Jerry. I thought it was terrible. My beautiful Jerry was as stiff as a board. His limbs would not move. When we walked into the room, I think he noticed us. He slightly moved forward from his seated position but then froze. I motioned to McCauley, "let's go over and give him a Christmas hug", which we did. There was no place for all of us to sit, so we walked Jerry down to his room so that all three of us could sit on his bed. Once we got him positioned on the bed, he was still stiff. McCauley said, "he is just staring." It was very awkward. Jerry had very little response, but I could tell he was wanting to touch McCauley. I encouraged McCauley to give Papa J a hug, but I think he didn't quite know how to position himself. So, we just started singing. We sang a few Christmas songs and hymns. McCauley, in his innocent little way, did sign language to Silent NIght. How sweet was that!!!!! Anyway, I felt that the entire visit was so uneventful. Pitiful. I came away discouraged. I didn't know what this little 5 year old grandson thought of the whole thing. But then I heard his response, "Papa's hurt." OH! What a sensitive little boy! I never thought of it that way. AND.....what a gift to give a little boy....a reason to love someone right where they are...to show compassion.
So today, while at church, I contemplated the reason for the season. (such a silly little cliche). But it's true! We all have such challenges. Families. No families. Loss of loved ones, critical illnesses, ...no one escapes. We all get exhausted by whatever struggles we are going through. We all have lessons to learn. On this silent night..I am counting my blessings and the greatest blessing is that extraordinary birth long ago...a Savior to the world! I love this Jesus who came to sacrifice his life to demonstrate love. I love this Jesus who has shown us grace...that everything doesn't have to be perfect. I love this Jesus who keeps me grounded and who gives me strength to see past the "circumstances" of my life. I love this Jesus who loves Jerry so much and has prepared a place for him. What indescribable love! It's over and above all else.
SO...with that said....my prayers are with those who are struggling. I pray for comfort and the peace of God that passes all understanding to be present with you. To all of you.....
MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS! MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS! LET THE BELLS RING! wherever you are.