and Merry Christmas! Christmas, contrary to consumer opinion is not over, you know. Even though most people have taken down their trees and lights, the wise men are still traveling and will be here on Epiphany. What a lovely thought.
My first post of the new year comes after some rather sad, and a few happy events. A few days before Christmas we rushed three hours down the road to visit my dying grandmother. When I left her I wasn’t sure I would see her again, but, having a terrible cold, I left to come back here and lie in bed until 3 p.m. Christmas Eve. Without my wonderful husband, we would have eaten canned beanie weanies, but he cut, chopped, and baked for Christmas Eve and Day. It was great. It felt just like a cooking show…everything I needed was already out and chopped and ready to be put together.
Our gifts to the kids were simple this year…they each got one big thing: a pogo stick, a bird cage, a violin, and a ride-on toy. After we opened gifts we went to church and then later ate Christmas dinner with friends and family. It was a peaceful day.
My dog had been sick since Thanksgiving, but right after Christmas day I noticed she was rapidly getting worse. An x-ray on Thursday confirmed the worst. Something, probably small intestinal cancer, was blocking her intestines and either 8 cans of putrifying food or a super fast growing tumor had absolutely filled her belly. Poor girl. Looking at her full belly and wasted body, I knew it was her time. Friday morning my oldest daughter and I took her to the vet and held her and thanked her while she passed away. Good old faithful dog.
Later the same day we packed up the car and 3 hours later we were patting my grandmother’s hand and thanking her and praying with her. This time she was “asleep” during our visit but I’m convinced she could hear us. I’m certain, at the very least, that she was comforted. My sister and I were rubbing her legs and arms and my aunt even joked that we should stop because granny was never going to let go with treatment like that! I left at 10:30 p.m. to put our babies to bed and two hours later she opened her eyes and said, “I love you, I love you” and then gently passed away surrounded by my mom, my aunt, my sister, and a very sweet nurse. She was 89 and now she is healed and whole, thanks be to God.
The next day we went to tell my grandfather the news. He and my grandmother have been divorced for 40 plus years but he lowered his head and cried when he heard the news. Seeing my 92 year old grandfather cry about the woman he complained about since I could remember certainly grabbed my heart. They were both good willed people but very wounded inside. I believe they have forgiven each other finally.
Yesterday, 0n our way back home, we picked up our son’s new bird and that little bird has already brought us much joy! He is very tame and loves to ride around on our shoulders. So cute. It is amazing to me that God allows certain of His creatures to interact with us and “not be afraid.”
I hope your Christmas was and is still wonderful. And I pray that your new year will be full of God’s blessings.