Loved Ones --
It's hard to say which day I miss Ray the most, but Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are good bets.
When that first Christmas rolled around I talked on the phone to my mom the whole time I wrapped gifts. The second one I just couldn't face and my cousin helped me wrap a few days before. This time I was alone. Oh I know that there are so many people alone! Ray could be here and be in bed!! And I would be up by myself! But that wasn't how it was and it wasn't how I wish for it to be.
Our Nora was Mary in the Christmas pageant today. We've come a long way from sitting in the crying room at Tommy More on Christmas Eve! Nora said to me, "I've wanted to be Mary since I was in pre-school." Oh the dear! Our sweet sports loving Nora in her Christmas dress with her Mary costume holding that beautiful baby Jesus. An angel. With an angel for an audience.
This December has been a whirlwind. There was that extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why not fill it with a Washington trip -- cancer lobbying and visiting the White House all decorated for Christmas?! It was a lovely trip. Our Shimkus family got us right in to see the beautiful decorations and we loved it. I wish the cancer research lobbying went as smoothly!! Without a doubt I will persevere however!
Between the trip, my run for school board (Vote April 9!) and many many other activities December was filled to over-flowing. If you know me well, you know of my Christmas chain, our December advent calendar of sorts, with a Christmas activity written on a chain link each day. This year, even the chain went by the wayside on many a day. Which says it all right there. We kept that chain up every single day Ray was in the hospital that year! This is the first time in my life as a mother that I have not kept up!
So as school came to a close, we holed up in the house and did all those things we didn't do this month. We did all our crafts, we did our baking, we did our Christmas for animals. The girls, like little sponges, soaking up all the traditions, all the anticipation for today. And I was so relieved! Redemption! Not a perfect December. Not the kind of December I want to give the girls. But. We continue to work together to make this all work, no matter how hard it is!
It's not a perfect Christmas. Not a perfect anything. But all of us, striving so hard to make beauty in brokenness.
More days like this I pray.
Merry Christmas to all of you.
Christ has come!
not alone and not afraid --
“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6