Yesterday was a grand day. I was blessed to be given another day, and for some reason that made yesterday perfect!
I’ve been given an interesting life. One that has been filled with everything novels portray. I’ve experienced reconnecting with my biological father (after 35 years). I went through a divorce (after 25 years of marriage). My son went to Iraq, and I got to watch the home that I raised my children in burn to the ground. I’ve spent most of my adult life in-and-out of hospitals, I’ve never been financially wealthy, and have lost (because of death) so many that I have loved.
Yesterday I got up and turned on my Christmas lights, and then began my day. I grabbed my cup of coffee, petted each of my four dogs, (while wishing them a grand day) and then went about my morning. Around 11:00 a.m. I called a new friend, and we chatted for a few hours, and then I took a shower and drove to meet another friend. We had coffee and chatted for a few hours. At 5:00 p.m. I drove home, and when I arrived home at 5:45, my husband and I went and met a friend who lost her husband last year. She is the cookie maker, and makes cookies for everyone in our neighborhood. My husband and I visited with her for a few hours, and then we came home. What a beautiful day yesterday had been.
As I got into bed last night I was thinking of what the highlight of my day was and it arrived within a Text Message from my daughter, Heidi. All it said was: Hey, we gotta read the Christmas Tree Story.
My Heidi lives in Northern California, and I don’t get to see her as often as I would like to. She and I used to be very close, but then she needed to go and figure out who she was meant to become, and sometimes it’s hard figuring out our paths in life when we’re so close to our family. Letting go of Heidi was the hardest let-go, I’ve ever had to do, but recently I’ve been watching and seeing that she is the one who is remembering.
When one is far from home, and the holidays approach, I believe that our hearts are always drawn back to a memory that was beautiful.
When I was a child Christmas was the only time that my whole family gathered together. It was the one day of the year where I would get to see my cousins, and when the whole family arrived at my grandmother’s, each of us would take a plate of food, gather in the living room, and the conversations and laughter would begin. Everyone seemed to let go of the hurts of their hearts and smiled. Even if only for one magical night of the year it became the one night of the year that I seemed to look forward to.
When all of us were done eating, my grandmother would turn the family room lights off and she would summons us to start singing a Christmas song, and when we were half-way through the song she would smile and say, “Do you hear that?” Our eyes would grow big and we knew that Santa was about to walk through her door bringing gifts for each person who was sitting in her family room. Age had nothing to do with receiving a gift. If you were sitting, you were getting.
Then there arrived that faithful day when my grandparents became too old to continue Christmas at their home, and when my grandmother gave us all the news our family gathered together for that one, last Christmas. My sister and I wrote a poem about Christmas Eve and recited it. Each person who had spent Christmas with us over the past 38 years was included in our poem, and while we were reading there were moments where the room laughed, and the room cried. While the evening was wonderful, there was still a sadness knowing that Christmas would never be the same, and for me… it never was.
When the next year arrived Christmas changed. Our family had all been separated by many miles and each of us took on our own traditions with our families, and it wasn’t until I received my daughter’s Text Message yesterday that I realized that no matter what we do with our families, as long as were all together, they will remember.
I’ve now decided that I’m going to start a special holiday on the 25th of each month, and it’s going to be called, “The 25th of Remember!” I’m even going to see if I can turn June 25th into a National Day of Remembrance that is for no other reason than to remember those we love.
It’s interesting how each day I make an Appointment with God, because I’ve wanted to become His friend. I realized that one can’t be a good friend to another if we don’t take the time to know them. God left me His words written within the Bible, and no matter the day, or the subject that my heart writes about, I can always find a similar story in the Bible. God’s message is about remembrance and nothing more. He created us. He sent His Son to die for us, He loves us, and all He wants from us is to remember….
Just as my daughter is remembering her youth, sitting around our wood stove at Christmas, hearing the story of the Fir Tree— God is saying, “Gather and remember!”
In the simplicity of holiday that reminds the world to slow down and give gifts to each other, please don’t forget that the greatest gift that God gave us, was not the birth of Christ, but the death of Him. It was the death on the Cross, that Christ chose to give to each and every one of us who wants to receive the gift, and all you have to do is remember and then say… “THANK YOU!” Because that’s the first thought I had yesterday when my daughter remembered… I thought, Thank you for remembering!
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:42
If anyone happens to read this tiny blog and you’re missing sharing the holidays with all those you love, just sit quietly and remember. The older I get the better my memory becomes and I’m realizing that fame, fortune and money can’t replace the beautiful memories that we each carry within our hearts.
ONWARD TO THE 25TH OF REMEMBER!