Try A Little Tenderness

We who have suffered a loss do get weary, the grief makes us weary and with all the turmoil going on in the world, sometimes it is more than we can bear.  With the holidays here it brings memories of happier times and those damn Christmas Carols playing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and the like, it’s hard to get through some days.  As the saying goes “life goes on”.  No one mentions if that’s a good thing.  It goes on, but it is never the same for us.

Okay, so how do we try to lighten our load, so to speak?  Here are a few ways I am finding to bring some peace back into my heart.  One way is spiritually,  not the “Long Island Medium” kind but the belief that God is always with us and if we ask for his help he will give us what we seek.  For a lot of us guilt is a block to finding inner peace.  We must forgive ourselves for a myriad of choices we have made in the past.  Now I know that this is no small task, but once we eliminate the demons that drive our feelings, we can move ahead to tackle what lies ahead. 

For me it was the realization that my time here is finite and I want to enjoy the time I have left and maybe make a difference in someones life, even if I don’t understand what is happening at the moment.  A smile or a hello to a stranger is a small thing, but if we are so wrapped up in our grief or guilt, we will not  have time to notice what is going on around us.

So here is my advice, and as always you can take it or leave it, but cut yourself some slack.  In this busy holiday season take time for yourself.  I know radical, huh?  Read the Bible,  do some things that bring you joy.  Call your grand kids or your best friend just to see how they are,  and listen.  Enjoy some solitude.  Read the signs that people and the Lord are giving you.  Love yourself.

My favorite scripture is the following:  “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope.  When you call me, when you go to pray to me,  I will listen to you.  When you look for me, you will find me.  Yes, when you seek me with all your heart you will find me with you, says the Lord.”  Jeremiah 29:14

I hope it brings you the same peace it does for me.  I wish you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and pray that you find the Peace of Christ in your life.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Dear Sam

This will be our third Christmas without you.  I miss your larger than life personality trying to make the season bright for all, especially me.  The years you would dress up as Santa Claus and visit Max and Addie every Christmas Eve.  It was even magical for me.  When the kids moved to Vegas they still flew home for the holidays and we spent Christmas morning together.  So many happy memories.

I came across a video this morning while looking through pictures from Christmas 2005.  The kids were unwrapping their presents and that was the year we wrapped each present and then put the presents in a big box and wrapped it.  They really loved that, so exciting for them.  Even though we lived in Washington state and Andy lived in Chicago and Max and Addie lived in Kalamazoo we still managed to make Christmas special and you were a big part of that.  The video focused on the kids and I wish you were in the video more, but I heard your voice and I was back there all those years ago.  Oh did I enjoy that.

Each year seems harder than the last without you.  The longer you are gone, the more I miss you.  The older I get the more I need you.  It is hard getting older, so much change, I must believe in myself as you believed in me.  That is a tall order and find myself lacking the desire most days.

On a bright note Max had his senior picture taken with the trombone you bought him and is playing songs out of your trumpet songbooks.  I am going to get a concert when I am down there for Christmas.  I know you will be there too.  Please ask our Lord to help me when I have days like this,  I look forward to the day I can be with you again.