Saturday, December 29, 2012
It’s snowy and frosty outside… the quintessential White Christmas. Right now the house is quiet, neither man nor dog yet roused from their slumber. I am reflective maybe even melancholy as I gather my thoughts to write this. Last year this house was still reeling from the death of our beloved father and husband, Erhard. This was the day, one year ago, I found out my brother was in the hospital – the beginning of the ordeal that would eventually take him from us. This year they are both gone, joined un-expectantly by my brother-in-law Mike. The loss threatens to wash away any joy. Last year at this time there was at least the security of finance – and Christmas was a time when I could be generous, this year we struggle to make even basic obligations and the gifts under the tree are few and meager. So much has fallen into ruin. But in the midst of this I can hear the refrain of a beloved hymn: “Yet in the dark streets shineth the everlasting light…” and I am reminded of all that we still have…
This was the year I had to let go and allow others to take care of me – something I have never done (and still find excruciatingly difficult). The gnawing dependency slays my ego but warms my heart. As a family – birthed, extended, and rented – we grew closer to each other. And in the end it became all right. Less stuff, but more care. Commitment trumped currency. Sense overrode sentiment as I made decisions that I thought impossible just a year ago. But in the end it came down to love – and I found within myself a love for all my friends and family that surpassed what I could bequeath them, because now I had nothing tangible to give. It showed itself in a myriad of random acts of kindness. And I am reminded that Christ, unlike Santa, did not enter the world bearing an arm load of material gifts. He came and gave himself.
To each and every one of you I give myself this day. My love, my gratitude, my energy, and when possible, my optimism… when I am in grief I ask you gather round and remind me of your love – and how that never fails. I am not the only person that has lost loved ones during 2012 and I am aware that for others of you this day may well be tinged in grief as well. Let us reach out to one another… each of us pointing to that everlasting light. I wish all of you… sincerely… a joyous day of celebration in remembrance that our hope has re-entered the world – as a child – pure, unabashedly in love with us all, ready to steady us as we count down these last days of 2012.