The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things.
Thomas S Monson
Christmas this year has become about time, days, hours and minutes. There has been no Christmas joy in my heart. Each day a beating reminder there are only X-amount of days until Christmas morning. Only so much time allowed for visiting my wife in between hours away from the family at work and minutes of normalcy squeezed into moments with my children.
Christmas time, a time for years I looked forward too as an adult like that of a bewildered child. Its majesty and deep spiritual meaning associated with family, myth and fun. But it just hasn’t been the same. My inner soul has been empty. Deprived of some vison or fantasy of what Christmas means to so many. I just can’t seem to rise from this holiday funk.
Blaming our retailers is of course the easy way out. Black Friday, Cyber Monday or all cyber flipping week, whatever the case may be. Watching our countries citizens crash through Wal-Mart doors crushing others to rip a trinket or cheaply made object from another’s hand with greed and animosity does not sound very Christmas like at all. People purchasing things; things that just add up with more things to become either re-gifted things or things that sit in a corner or in a closet or on a garage shelf.
But it’s not the retailers I blame. In reality I hardly watch any TV so the commercial onslaught doesn’t really affect me personally.
The reality is it has been a very hard year, heck a very difficult two years and I know it sounds like I am whining but I feel we have been blessed surrounded by family during these many trying times. This year for Christmas I just haven’t felt as lucky. Not because of anything family related, it just hasn’t felt right. Oh we have put up a tree, played Christmas music, gone Christmas shopping, and even wrapped a few presents. But it feels like our family is simply going through the motions; add to that my responsibility to work Christmas Eve and its breaking my heart. It is what I must do, it is my job, and the kids will be fine but inside it feels as though our family is being robbed emotionally once again. There has never been a Christmas that one or both of us hasn’t been home. The bond of family broken by circumstances beyond our control.
Thanksgiving we gathered and quickly I found my way down the hill to Jacy’s room. But selfishly for me it was too short a visit, although no amount of time would have been enough I am sure. Christmas feels as though it will be much of the same; just be another blip on the horizon. Like a shooting star, there for one brilliant moment and then gone before anyone really had a chance to gaze upon its beauty. Sad…
Then, as I was riding my very own Debbie Downer red sleigh of despair I stumbled upon the quote above. Quickly realizing my own sorrow had in fact clouded these eyes. A Christmas spirit shined bright and soon the realization it had been shining every day for the last two years hit me like a gallon of egg nog! Stuck within my own bubble I had forgotten Christmas is a symbol that brings out the good in people as they unify over family, spirit, religion and love. If you are lucky and I mean very lucky you get to see that kind of love and devotion throughout the year as Christmas’ regenerating powers overflow beyond 25 days of December. It’s like a check in point for your soul.
The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness.
How blind and pitiful could I be? Never in my life had I been surrounded by more love, generosity and goodness than right here, right now. Without the gift of love shown to myself and my family I couldn’t even comprehend how much harder this journey would become. To love and be loved, to be thought of, cared for and held deep in someone’s prayers, the most intimate sign of love, is indeed breathtaking. My selfish sorrow for what I wasn’t going to have within a Christmas parameter had blinded me to what I have had all along.
Family, friends and community.
At Christmas time, who could really ask for more? So starting tomorrow, I am going to give it another shot! Wipe away my dreariness, put on my best holiday spirit and pray. Just like I should have been doing all along. Pray for those who have nothing, pray for those who are in pain or suffering. Pray for those who cannot make it home, are separated or are alone either by choice or because of circumstances beyond their control. Pray for those alone because they are all they have left. I am going to pray for everyone who has given so much time and love to our family and pray for my family as we work through a Christmas without our girl. I am just going to pray and be thankful for all we have.
In my prayers I will also keep praying for my wife. It is tough being in the hospital this long. Her room is decorated but it is not the same. There is a tree with lights, bows, garland, and ornaments. But it will be her first and hopefully her last Christmas away from home and her children. We will visit her Christmas day and smother her in love so she doesn’t lose her Christmas spirit. We will pray.
Thank you everyone for reminding me what matters most.
Update: Jacy is holding her own. Her numbers are getting better and she is finally able to eat some solid food!!! Yesterday she had sausage and pancakes! That is incredibly huge! Her gastrointestinal tract seems for the moment to be working just fine. No bleeding. Her lungs have switched from viral infections in the upper respiratory to the lower respiratory. She is still having trouble breathing and needs a few breathing treatments a day but overall she is starting to sound better when she speaks. Her bladder is still bleeding and there is future treatment options on the horizon. She is growing hair and it is coming in quickly! When you put it all together it appears she IS getting better!! We are still on a wait and see plan but overall it feels different this time.
So please if everyone can continue to pray, I believe we may just see a turn around here real soon and that would lead to a very happy New Year!
Merry Christmas everyone!