Have you ever had a loved one go away for a few months? Have you ever known the fear of: what if they never come back? What would your life be like? How would you go on with your life as usual? My son was gone for four months and it wasn’t easy. I eased the pain by not focusing on it. I eased the pain by writing letters to him, or hearing his voice on the phone, or chatting on Facebook. It lessened the loneliness; sure. But all the letters, calls, and chats did nothing to completely erase the ache in a mother’s heart of not having her family complete.
And forget about the holidays. Thanksgiving wasn’t all that much fun. Yes, I still had much to be thankful for, but the day didn’t have the same feel to it that it normally did. There was someone missing from the table. Missing them so badly in fact that we didn’t even sit at a table for dinner but in the living room, watching t.v. to bide our time. Bide our time until we saw him again. My younger son.
Now, we are a complete family unit once again. And this is one happy mama. To be able to hug him, and talk to him face to face again, to see him, to hear his voice and his laughter. It is a blessing to behold. And then it reminds me of all those out there in the world that do not have that opportunity to hug their loved ones. Those who won’t be home for the holiday, or ever again. That’s what frightens me. How would I deal with that if that ever happened to me? To my family?
I truly cannot fathom that emotion since I’ve never been through it. And quite honestly I never want to have to go through that ordeal. To those who have had that baptism by fire, I am truly sorry for your loss. I can never fully grasp the grief and heartache that you must live with each and every day. May you find peace. May you find comfort. My prayers go with you.
Okay, I’m going to share a bit of my views about the holiday season in this post. I need to begin by saying that I think people, in general, go overboard during this time of year. They stress themselves out by trying to find that special someone that perfect gift. Or they are rushing around to various functions just to keep up appearances. They overdose on holiday music played everywhere. And they wind up burned out and never get to fully appreciated what this time of year is all about.
Christmas, in my eyes, is the birth of Jesus. God’s perfect gift to humanity, wrapped in flesh, and given without asking for anything in return. To me, it is the greatest gift ever given. As we bedeck our homes, inside and out, with multi-colored lights and trees, inflatable Santas and reindeer, and covet precious handmade ornaments made by our children, we tend to overemphasis the trivial and forget about the true meaning. The light in children’s eyes, the wonder and the joy that glimmers within. Spending time with loved ones. Just sitting around a toasty fire, sipping on cider, eggnog, or a hot chocolate and sharing fond memories of Christmas’s past, gives one pause.
And we are not to forget those who are struggling this time of year. Those who have recently lost a loved one, or are hurting financially, or have gone through some sort of traumatic event. We need to let them know that they have not been forgotten and that you are there for them with a willing shoulder to cry on. Not everyone sees this time of year as festive and merry. This time of year can fill many with a sense of dread and depression. Let us lift those hurting ones up and help them through this season.
It’s not about what you’re getting for Christmas, or how many brightly wrapped packages are yours underneath the Christmas Tree. As a child I used to crawl around under our tree and discover how many had my name on the gift tag. Yes, it is exciting for children to receive requested toys. I understand that. But there comes a time when we need to explain to our children that the meaning of Christmas is more than what they receive, but what they get out of this time of year, surrounded by loving family, making their own fond memories to embrace in the future.