So, a couple of people shared a post about Christmas and loss and it really hit me. Terri and I are struggling so much this week…ma loved Christmas and she always made it so nice for us! This post helped me to understand that it’s ok to grieve a loss on any holiday and also that none of us are alone. Here’s some of what the Facebook post said:
“So I would like to remind you that there are people for whatever reason are not looking forward to Christmas. Some people are not surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us any longer. For many it is their first Christmas without a particular loved one and many others lost loved ones at Christmas. And, many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring, loving thoughts right now.”
Isn’t this a great message? It’s so easy to get caught up in the shopping, wrapping, decorating, planning, baking, cooking, etc. that we sometimes lose sight of what Christmas should really celebrate. What the true meaning really is. And how for many, Christmas isn’t always a joyous season.
For years, ma had a tradition for me and Terri: we’d go over the day after Christmas and ma would cook a big pot of chili. She took so much care in buying us special gifts and always had a new quilt for us! Terri and I loved spoiling her too…watching her open her presents was always fun and she’d say: “Oh! I’ve always wanted one!” or “Oh! I’ve been needing one!” or “Oh! You made this perfectly!”
Last year was the best Christmas we ever had with her! It was just me, ma, Terri and her hubby (Dan) and we wore comfy clothes and cozied up inside her house. We yapped and opened presents and lolled around and had a great dinner with so many laughs. It was relaxed and happy and special and I’m wondering if maybe the day itself was the real gift given to us.
I’m guilty of losing sight of what Christmas really means. The hoopla is great…but that’s not really Christmas. It’s not really the reason the day is celebrated. It’s not really the reason we all gather together and show our love for one another. Of course I celebrate Christmas with all of the fun, but I also try my very best to take time to remember that it’s the birth of my saviour, Jesus Christ, that makes it what it is. And this is what I’ve been thinking about all week.
Terri and I no longer have our ma to be with on a day she cherished with us. And it hurts. So fucking much (sorry ma😳). But I’m also realizing that we aren’t alone in this. God gave us his son to show his love for us. His want of us to be with him forever. He did this so we’d always have the comfort of knowing that no matter what’s happening in our lives, Jesus is there. Sometimes we lean on him, sometimes he carries us, and no matter what, he’s always willing to relieve us from our burdens…if we just ask. He surrounds us completely and it’s comforting to know I’m truly never…ever…alone. And I need to remember that. Especially now.
I think I have a ‘childish’ view of heaven: I believe it’s what YOU want it to be. Heaven is our eternal glory. Our eternal happiness. Our eternal joy. It’s going to fulfill what our wants are. So on Christmas day, I think ma, grandma, and grandpa are going to eat a lobster dinner (it’s free in heaven🤔 ), open presents that make them laugh, and remember the times we were all together on earth. Then they’re going to look down on me and Terri and our families and know that we’re going to be OK. That we have Jesus’s arms around us. And that one day, we’re going to have chili with ma again. Until then, I’ll cry over the memories, laugh at old pictures, and thank God over and over for having given Terri and I the gift of his son. And the gift of a ma that is missed so much.
Merry Christmas, peeps.
Love you ma. Love you more.