Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankfulness Challenge Day 23: Thankful for wonderful memories.

Like most people I know I have loved Christmas for as long as I can remember.
There is something in the air that begins the day after Thanksgiving (when we decorate the house) and doesn't end until January. Its truly magical. As I've gotten older the magic has changed somewhat. As a child/adolescent it was toys/gifts/stuff! Now, its the togetherness of family the season brings. Its a time where we all take a little more time for each other and are a little nicer. I'm not saying I agree with this idea but it is what it is. 

My mom LOVED Christmas! This Christmas marks the 10th one without her and I am almost positive I have blogged about this in times past but its a story worth repeating. 
The first Christmas after mom died we gathered at her sister's house and spent it trying to keep our wits about us. It was very empty and cold feeling and I wondered there was no magic. Since I wasn't home that year I didn't decorate. Never did I imagine I wouldn't ever want to decorate again but thats exactly what happened one year later. 
Thanksgiving came and went and so did the tradition of decorating on Black Friday. I just couldn't get it together. There was no Aunt's house to hide at this year and my kids and B kept asking if we were even going to have a tree. I just couldn't do it. There was nothing in me that even wanted to. Mom was gone and so was the magic of Christmas. 
A few days before Christmas my friend Laurie called. We went to church together, she also had three boys but was about 10 years ahead of me. I loved Laurie. Always had a smile on her face and an encouraging word not to mention her amazing hugs! She was asking how it was going yada yada yada, you know all the small talk. I broke down and told her I hadn't decorated, how I just couldn't bring myself to do it. What was the point kind of thing. Her response...get those decorations down, I'll be right there and she hung up. Next thing I know she is at my door Christmas mugs in one hand and apple cider and Christmas CD in the other. And we got to work. She was so precious. Rachel, she said, your mom loved Christmas and what better way to keep her memory alive during this season then to keep loving it yourself. 
And thanks to Laurie I do! I relish every moment. I am so thankful God brought her into my life and thankful she's still around (albeit we are a few hundred miles away). She helped me remember why. She could of just stayed on the phone and said all the "right" things but left me to my own devices but she didn't. She acted out of compassion for me in my moment of pain and assisted in my healing process. 
Every year since then as we decorate she is constantly on my mind and heart as the vessel God used in the moment I needed something I couldn't produce on my own. HOPE!

And by the way, those same mugs she brought get filled and re-filled all season long.

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