Obviously I need a Christmas post. It is more difficult than you would think...it is a holiday that has a lot of emotional aspects.
I was just reading a story via Facebook. The family of a nine year old girl named Abbie who died of cancer in April had made a special request - the Richmond news passed it on. Since Abbie apparently embodied the spirit of giving - they have asked people to do an act of kindness and then email the story to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be filling a stocking with the email and spending Christmas morning reading those notes to each other. What an incredible legacy. And although I know the reading will be done through a lot of tears...hopefully it will also give the family some smiles.
When I was a young teen, my maternal grandfather passed away about a week before Christmas. I remember vividly when Mom came to my room to tell me. My parents were patient people and allowed us to have a small tree in our bedrooms if we wanted one. I recall mine that year was pretty scraggly cedar and it was decorated with a whole string of lights...even though it was only about 3 feet tall. I had spent the afternoon making paper chains and although I'm sure that I found the effect to be quite magical...it was probably pretty hideous. Mom had gone out to run an errand. I guess Dad must have taken the phone call... I know that I was sitting and looking at my tree, all the other lights in the room were off. Mom came in and told me. And we sat together on the floor and cried and looked at the tree. Even though she had four other kids and a host of relatives that she needed to talk to...she took as much time as I needed... (Mom and Abbie have that spirit of giving thing in common). I guess that was the first close family member I had lost.
Since that time, I have dealt with the loss of many family and friends. But there is something about sitting by the light of the Christmas tree that reminds me. Years before he passed, during one Christmas, Granny and Granddad made Christmas balls for each one of us. Just colored glass ornaments with our names in glitter. One for each of us. Mine said "Christy" (don't try to call me that...only one person living has that privledge. If you are not Gladys Bowie...I wouldn't advise it!). As the years have passed, one by one...the ornaments have met their ends. Except for two. Mom's and Granddad's. I think that is pretty cool. And every year when I hang it on the tree, I remember him. His laugh, his western hat, the way he popped his teeth out (which made us kids roar with laughter!), going to Dunkin' Donuts on Sunday morning, stopping by Peter's news stand (we weren't allowed to go in...apparently it was a rough place) for the Washington Post, going to High's Ice Cream store after church and spinning on the stools at the counter.
Remembering is good.
Tomorrow, a different view...
Tell somebody that you love them today.
Hamster a little misty...