How's your stomach this month?
Do you get a feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach around the holidays? When your ever-cheery friends and family members begin to gush about how they "just LOVE Christmas"?
This is the last time we went to cut down our own tree; Lindsay's last Christmas with us. It was much too painful to do anymore. We bought them at Home Depot instead.
Just thinking about those days with the kids all at the table, goofing around when they were supposed to be serious; playing with the dripping wax of their candles, nudging each other about who-knows-what, singing intentionally out of tune; all of those memories bring that ache that I can mostly avoid now after sixteen years. It's not unusual for parents of adult children to feel melancholy about all of that anyway; the kids are grown, where did the time go, etc., etc. But when a person has a child in a cemetery and he or she is so very gone, Christmas traditions are not just nostalgic, they are painful!
This is the place where we as Christians have a different perspective.
It is the family time and the lights and the ornaments and the "feelings" of Christmas that take me down. It is those overly happy people who cannot imagine how awful and deep the abyss can be for us. And how it never goes away.
Lindsay, our nineteen year old daughter and her unborn baby, Emily Hope are safe in heaven. They have seen the Savior without looking though that dark glass that we use here. They have enjoyed Him for these sixteen years and we will eventually join their chorus.
My advice, as one who has traversed this land of loneliness for these years, is to focus on the Christ of Christmas, worship, enjoy and remember why we celebrate. If the happy tunes of the season are too hard, turn the station to the real carols and worship instead of conjuring up some feeling you just can't locate. Here is the song that friend I mentioned, Simonetta Carr, sent me a few hours ago. This is how we cope this month; by remembering our loved ones but worshiping the Savior!The Sweetest Gift
Our daughter and grand daughter went to meet Him on 9-11-01.