Cooked all morning...because kids still weren't all here. Cooked and cooked and cooked.
I got in bed after midnight last night, and I reflected on our day. I felt a little bad that I wrote so much about feeling sad and missing my kids. Just keepin' it real, but seriously...ME, ME, ME.
I started thinking about my own family...how we lived all over the United States and in two foreign countries during the time my Dad was in the Air Force. We were rarely at "home" for Christmas. In our case, "home" would've been Charlottesville, VA...where my Grandmother lived and where my Mom was raised.
About every other year, my Grandmother would fly out and spend a couple of weeks with us at Christmastime. I remember a couple of times when my grandparents on my Dad's side came to visit. Usually, tho, it was just our family of 6. I'm sure my Mom had many lonely holidays.
I wrote about one specific Christmas here, when my Dad was in Vietnam for a year...and my Mom had to handle everything for all of us.
I started thinking about my two sisters...whose kids spend some of every holiday, alternate Spring breaks and part of every summer...with their dads. And how lonely it is for my sisters when their kids are gone.
I started thinking about my friend, Ruth, whose dad is on his journey home. It won't be long now. They were hoping he would make it until Christmas, because all of his 6 children, and almost all of the grandchildren were coming home to say good-bye, and to celebrate his life. The last ones got there last night, and he was still hanging on. So thankful...but still so sad.
I started thinking about our former pastor, Ken. His Mom passed away about the same time as my Mom...16 or so years ago. I didn't know his parents at all, but his Dad remarried...just like my Dad did. And last week, his step-mom passed away. I was thinking about Ken's Dad...having to bury two wives. How hard is that?
I started thinking about Jim's cousin's wife...her husband died not even a week ago. They have 4 children between them, and now she's a widow. And a single mother. And it's Christmas.
There's so much joy this time of year, but also so much sadness. We like to think that this time of year is sacred and special and only for the good stuff. But a long time ago, before the creation of the world, God set things in motion for how it was gonna be...and the seasons change and the sun rises and sets and there's love and loss and life and death...no matter what has gone on in the nights and days before.
For some, their sorrow is deep and joy may not come today. But there is hope for tomorrow for those who know the Lord, and the promise for an eternity with our loved ones in Heaven with God.
"Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord...thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:6,8