This is gonna sound repetitive, but I can't help but ask "where did a whole year go?" Did it fly by or is it just me? Heck it was Christmas less than a week ago, and even that seems longer gone…..except we still need to dismantle the tree. That's the easy part….it's the crawling around in the attic repacking it all. But, hey, at least I have a warm home….with an attic. Anyway….
For the next 30 hours or so I'm going to concentrate on all the good things that happened in 2014, things I am grateful for.
Family times, especially when all 7 of our grand blessings are together. It's wonderful to see them interact. The youngest ones in each family are real performers….I mean they're into costumes and putting shows on and singing and dancing through life….between Patrick (almost 6) in his Jesus costume (he loves it and wears it a lot) and Ally (almost 8)rehearsing for the part of Molly in a high school production of Annie……well, let's just say we are never without entertainment.
My sister died quite suddenly 7 years ago today. I know she is happier and really at peace now…..but I do miss her. Yet her light still shines…..
For many the day after Christmas signifies SALES, SALES, SALES! People rush to purchase wrapping paper and ribbon and gift tags and bags for next year. Gifts are returned and re-purchased. (I would not want to work in retail during these times). I wonder what happened on
Dec 26th in Bethlehem when that precious little baby was born. No comparison, of course. I wish I could have been there, been able to hold that little one, to kiss his little lips and snuggle him. Today and in these days after Christmas, I am imagining being there, at a life so much simpler, when the heavens sang out in gratitude for the birth of the Christ Child.
I've been thinking about what it must have been like for Mary, ready to give birth, so young and trusting, traveling on a donkey, then having the child in a barn with straw….no, there doesn't seem to be any mention of comfort for her in scripture, certainly not for pain. And that was just the beginning.
I remember what it was like when I was due with all 4 of our children. The anticipation and longing to just get it over…..so the discomfort will be gone….but most importantly, getting to meet my child for the first time. I wonder how Mary felt when she met her baby Jesus….was she frightened? Did she wonder what she got herself into? I think not. After all, she was more pure than anyone could be or ever would be.
We forget sometimes how blessed we are with all our modern conveniences at our fingertips. Our children see it as a way of life until or unless they experience loss of some kind. But back to Our Blessed Mother… I wish I could have met her, been there to care for her when her baby was born.
And so, I am grateful for her wonderful, gentle ways.
When I picked Patrick up from school the other day he burst through the school door, saying, "I'm gonna do Jesus on the Cross for my show tonight."
Gramma: "Hmmm, and where would that show be?"
P - "At home."
Note: Patrick entertains the family most nights with his own shows. For some reason he is obsessed with Jesus…..not saying that's a bad thing. But, he wanted to be Jesus for Halloween, then changed his mind. Won't he be surprised when he opens his present on Christmas Eve from Aunt Jen and Uncle Chad and sees his very own JESUS costume!!!! Keep in mind, he is not making fun of our baby Jesus; rather, I think he is pretty amazed by Jesus and truly believes. YES!!!
Anyway, when we got home, he dashed downstairs, scotch tape in hand. I followed him, only to see him measuring the width of his arms straight out ( like a T). He then proceeded to tape drum sticks to the wall on the area where the stage is. He then stood atop a small chair, arms outstretched (to the wooden drum sticks) and in his lowest voice (chin down to accentuate it)said "I AM JESUS."
"Welllllll," I said, "how about if you say the words that Jesus said on the cross: 'Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.' "
He seemed to like that and so he repeated (arms outstretched, of course) "Father, please forgive them….(hesitation)…. They don't know WHAT they're doing."
Out of the mouths of babes….
I attended a funeral this morning for a lovely woman who battled cancer for two years. She was only 64, but she had lived long enough to see her four grandchildren born, 2 within the last 8 weeks. She had three sons and one daughter. Her daughter gave the eulogy….a beautiful tribute to her mother, her best friend, her mentor, her role model. It was clear that this wife and mother was deeply loved, respected, cherished. Her husband and children were devoted to her. During the battle with this disease, she never complained. She suffered yet never complained, but rather, took each day as it came and thanked God for the time she had been given.
Jim and I drove to Appleton today so that we could see and hear Jack in his 5th grade chorus concert. It is always so much fun to watch children performing and see how they are interacting with their peers. Normally I would be singing, but a recent bout of bronchitis and sore throat have left me with laryngitis…..and a strong nudge (from above!)….have left me without a song. I won't even be singing at midnight mass. Now try to explain that to a 7 year old who sings all day long (beautifully!) and loves singing with her nama!!!
There's that Advent thing again…..waiting ….anticipation…..patience. And so, for now, I must sit back and wait….kinda patiently!
Rusty married her high school sweetheart, Jim. They have four children and seven adorable