From last night’s Eve service, a quote from Howard Thurman:
When the song of the angels is stilled
When the star in the sky is gone
When the kings and princes are home
When the shepherds are back with their flock
The work of Christmas begins:
- to find the lost
- to heal the broken
- to feed the hungry
- to release the prisoner
- to rebuild the nations
- to bring peace among people
- to make music in the heart.
This my first holiday season without L has been an eye-opening experience filled with unexpected surprises and “gifts” in the form of calls and cards from so many, a visit from two people I have had contact with for years but am just beginning to truly know (and appreciate), family, friends, tears and laughter. It has indeed been a joyous season–a time for reflection on the wonderful life I have been given and always always the realization that L continues to be with me in spirit if not in body and for that I am so very thankful. Blessings to you and yours! Anna
Although L and I were never blessed with children of our own, my heart is breaking daily for the families of those killed in this horrific massacre–and not just the children but also the adults who had families of their own who are also in such pain. I know there has been a lot of talk about gun control measures and I applaud that–it is past time. My family had guns and I have shot at targets myself so I am not anti-gun or hunting or home protection. But do we really need a gun to shoot a gazillion bullets a minute–bullets that actually explode once they penetrate the victim? And beyond that I agree with those who say that gun control is only the first step of many–we decimated our mental health system for budget reasons years ago and we continue to pay a heavy price for that–not just in these terrible and shocking events but also in the every day lives of our friends and neighbors who may be suffering and in pain mentally and emotionally. Our schools struggle (budget-wise) to offer programs that can truly reach a child in pain–music, art, drama and yes, sports.
I am so blessed as I make this journey–surrounded by friends and family who constantly make sure I am doing as well as possible; comforted by memories and the “gifts” L left me of a journal and voice recordings and wonderful memories of decades of love; and endowed with an inner strength gained from my upbringing and my faith that keeps me in balance.
Some of you have written to me of your own pain and I am struck by your courage and determination to see that through to a better day. But around us all are people who are convinced that they have no one to turn to–no place to lay down that burden for even a moment. In this season of giving I urge you to look for someway that you–and your children–can reach out to those less fortunate–not just by donating a can of food or writing a check but face to face. Someone in your town and neighborhood is suffering–an elderly person living alone with no family coming for the holidays; an unemployed parent; a soldier wounded in the act of defending his or her country and now facing a future minus a leg or arm…the list is endless. Find one person…find one simple thing you can do…and do it. Merry Christmas to you all and may 2013 bring us all peace and comfort.
One of the quirks about this journey is the use of pronouns…when did “we” become just “I” and “our” become just “my”? I’m not sure others pay much attention but I am so very aware that when I say something like “Come on over to ____ house after the game…” I am hesitating before choosing the pronoun. In my heart it is OUR house and always will be. It’s the place we shared so many moments–both significant and silly–it is the home of memories. Perhaps one day I will live somewhere that I did not share with L, but will the address really matter? As long as the structure is furnished with “our” things won’t it still be ours?
Okay then there’s “we” vs. “I” — this one kind of works because it seems that natural to use past tense with we as in “We always loved to…” or “One time we were…” If someone extends an invite it’s also pretty natural to simply say “I’d love to…” Clearly I’m not yet so lost that I have fantasies that “we” could accept. So it’s the possessive that gives me pause.
But underlying this struggle in semantics is a deeper more painful coming to terms with the fact that these days only the past is “our” and “we”. The present and the future are both single…I…me…my.