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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gettin' right with Christmas...

I feel like writing but I am not sure what about.  I have so many things swirling in my head these days.  Christmas is coming whether I want to participate in it or not.  I don't have little kids anymore so the magic part of it is gone.  Now it is up to me to find the other meanings of Christmas...I guess.  When the kids were little, they were in the program at church dressed up as angels and sheep, we did Advent services and made tons of crafts.  I loved it because I would stop all the stuff I needed to do, sit in the quiet of the church with all the twinkling lights and relax.  It was part of the ritual for our family.

I am not so sure what Christmas is for my family now.  I mean, I still like the season and the lights...I love the lights and as a dear friend said in her blog, I leave them up all year because I love them so much.  But, what is it really about?  I am a believer...I believe in God and I believe that he is always with us.  I really do.  I know that there are people that don't and and I believe that is their business.  I also believe that if it is possible, you should stay home and raise your kids, be around for your teenagers but also enjoy them.   But, like I said, that is what I believe and you can believe a whole other reality and you and I can be dear friends.

So back to Christmas.  I sat in church today and listened to the preacher man.  He talked about how Mary, the mother of Jesus, was an ordinary lady that was chosen for the job and how it wasn't just the first part of the journey but they whole journey that was difficult.  He talked about how when Jesus was 12, he ran away to the temple and she didn't know where he was...and she was terribly worried.  It made me remember the hike over the summer and how I didn't know if my kids were okay...and those terrible feelings that went along with that.  Then he talked about Mary watching him be crucified and losing a son and the pain that went along with that.  I thought about all the folks that know that unrelenting pain...the loss of a child and how unfair that usually is.  I was listening with both ears because I wanted to know what the point is...why does he think we have to go through this difficult life and what is the point of that...

He finally talked about God's promises...and how even when we forget God, he doesn't forget us.  We are his and we get grace...and it is not something that we have to earn but it is ours for the taking.  And yes, we will, without a doubt have difficulties in life and it will be heart stopping at times but he is with us always whether we want that love or not.

Now, to the folks that aren't into God and church...I hear you...this is crazy talk.  Sometimes I even think it is too.  But...like I said, I am a believer. 

So back to Christmas...it is a fun and twinkely time.  The lights, the food, the folks getting together...families letting by gones be by gones...a great thing.  The buying stuff to buy stuff...uh uh...I am not doing that this year.  Of course I will buy gifts...I would be lying if I said I wasn't buying anything but nothing like in the past.

I have two patients that are dying.  One is old and one is young.  They are so precious...and their beauty is indescribable.  The world is going to miss them.  One is older and has had a great life.  She has lived well and the care her family is providing is proof of that.    The other is young, bald and I know she was in my life in the early years.  I recognize her because of her beautiful glow and her familiar smile.  She isn't interested in gifts or christmas or anything that doesn't have to do with quality time with her loves in her life.  That's it...that's all.  There will be a grandbaby in January and the goal is to make it to see the baby before she dies.

This post, I think, has helped me disect my plan for Christmas this year.  I am planning on being around the twinkly lights as much as I can but also, I am going to try to stay away from all the fake stuff...the pretend life of stuff and over spending to try to buy happiness.  I am not going to be part of it.  I think I will use the example of the folks that understand that the clock is ticking...and be present in the moment, look a little longer at the lights on the trees and the houses in the neighborhood, and spend time with my loves...without the list of to do's scrolling through my brain.  I will try to listen to my teenagers tell me about their day without thinking about how they probably have homework that isn't turned in and I will  try to encourage my husband when  he struggles with his job and the travel coming up.  I'm not very good at that stuff now.

This patient, the younger one, didn't think last year at this time that it would be the last christmas with her family...that when her husband asked "how much time do I have with my wife?" that the oncologist would answer "6 months at best." 

What would you do if this was your last Christmas?  What would you change?  Would you slow down and play banagrams with your teenagers in front of the christmas tree?  Would you look at your husband/wife longer because you needed to save the image?  Huh?  What do you think? 

Enjoy the twinkly lights and whatever you love to do during this time of  year...I know that I am going to try to!

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,
Terry

3 comments:

Ms. Moon said...

You know what? If I knew that this would be my last Christmas, I would want to do exactly what I am going to do which is to spend this one with my man in the place I love the most. If my kids don't know how much I love them and have lived for them from the moment my first child drew breath, then I have not done my job.
And no one on this earth has the right to tell me how I "should" feel at a certain time of year. No one.
I ain't responsible for the GNP and I ain't responsible for anyone else's happiness.
Not a one of us has any more for sure than right this second. I live that way in that knowledge every day of my life.
Which is why Christmas is artificial to me and why I am choosing this year to go away and be where I want to be, making ME happy, making love with the one I love.
And girl- I love you so much. I hope you always know that.

Terry Joy said...

Mary,
Yep...I know you love me and I love you. You are and have always been who I look to for authenticity
because you are. You are the mother that I try to be and hope that I am even half of. Your love for Glen and the kids make the world a much better place. So...do what you do girl and know that I am hanging on every written word!
Love you so much,
Terry

Cynthia said...

I cannot thank you enough for this post, Terry. I have been in such conflict myself, over Christmas. But now I know, from your offering here, where my focus will be. The Light. After all, the season is supposed to be about the Being of ultimate Light. In fact, I think we will be decorating differently this year. I am gonna buy more lights and just light up the place. And I am formulating a blog post myself about letting the light of this season burn away some of the dark corners in my life and heart.

Thank you.

Loves and hugs,
Cynthia