I’ve always loved the simple things of Christmas. The tree glowing in the evening, Christmas music in the air, baking cookies, Christmas parties, the holiness of Christmas, Communion and candle light.
The gifts are an annoying side gig that I must participate in. There was always one beacon in all of the Christmas shopping and that was the annual shopping trip I took with my Dad.
He was the embodiment of Christmas cheer and we had some adventures.
There was the year we came out a different exit of the mall than we entered, and we were convinced that someone stole the car.
The year we were so busy talking that I missed our exit and we ended up in another state.
Secretly, our shopping was just an end to a means. The means, margaritas and Mexican food. At that table we would laugh, solve word problems and discuss all things past and present.
Dad was plagued with several health issues, failing lungs were one of them. The last few years we gave up the shopping and headed straight to the nearest Mexican restaurant.
It was all he could do to get from the car to the table. But once settled at our table, margaritas in hand we would laugh and talk. As we had dinner and our second margarita arrived, his breathing would ease and I was certain margaritas were his cure. If only we could stay there forever.
Sadly the margaritas were not the cure and this year Dad’s lungs, ever so slowly, stopped their breathing in and breathing out. We knew it was coming, but nothing prepares you for loosing someone so dear. The missing, the aching.
This year has been a year of tears, they can come at any time. Some days I feel panic set in as I try to remember his voice. Walking in my parents house and glancing into my Dad’s empty workshop, grief grips my heart.
Christmas has brought a fresh cup of brimming tears. The thought of Christmas without him seems unfathomable. I want to skip it, run away from it and I certainly don’t want to do any Christmas shopping.
As much as I want to sit with my tears and let them have their way, I have continued to resist them. Maybe I am afraid if I start crying I may never stop.
I read this article What Grieving People Wish You Knew at Christmas , by Nancy Guthrie. I was given this fresh perspective on tears.
Nancy’s words are true. Tears are not my enemy. I am still a woman of faith.
Tears are a gift, a healing gift from God. They will help to wash away my deep anguish.
This Christmas I choose to open His gift and let them fall.