I love the holidays. I guess most people do.
This year I've buried my head in the sand at the prospect of having a rough holiday season.
But you see, when the "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" song comes along and they sing, "In a year our troubles will be out of sight...in a year our troubles will be miles away...i know in a year we all will be together, if the *fates* allow..." makes me realize that a year ago I never would have imagined spending my first Christmas without my mom.
So far, I've done pretty well. There was a rough patch involving some sentimental ornaments that went up on my tree a few weeks ago. Then there's the idea of my dad being alone this year. But for the most part I've been able to keep my eyes focused on Christ and the true meaning and have gotten less hung up on trappings. I imagine my mom celebrating her *first Christmas* with Jesus himself (perhaps everyday is Christmas in heaven?)
And true to form as it has been for the past 6 months, it is me I'm feeling sorry for. And I'm going to risk sounding like the only child spoiled brat that I probably am, but I have had a sad time realizing no more stockings for me- and YES, I realize I'm 38 and was still getting stockings up until last year. My mom did an insanely/obscenely good job of filling a stocking (much to Steve's horror upon getting married.)
Yesterday my friend, Jenny, stopped by and dropped off this amazing basket of advent treats for me. Jenny is one of those friends that I have known for years. We met at church and over the years we have always had great intentions of spending more time together. But with kids and adoptions and busy lives, we go in spurts. Jenny showed tremendous amounts of love to me by preparing this basket full of treats and Bible verses because she thought of me and how hard it might be for me to go through this season. Honestly, I think Jenny realized it more than I did.
As I received this tangible act of love and kindness from Jenny, I also realized it was a tangible act of love and kindness from God. In some ways it feels like a Christmas stocking that my mom would have put together for me. And Jenny didn't even know that! That token of friendship from a friend that I don't even see all that often makes me want to be a better friend to people. Thank you, Jenny!! You have no idea how much it meant to me.
And as I explained to Olivia about the basket and why Jenny brought it for me (and that, yes, something does occasionally enter this house that is for ME and not THEM) I saw her wheels turning.
She came home from school today and had made me this picture. If you look to the far right there are two people. They are laying in bed and to the right of them is a red circle. That is a TV.
She drew a picture of herself and my mom (Bebe) laying in bed watching TV together. And to the left are *hearts*. You see for about the last year of my mom's life, when we would go and visit, there would be a lot of times when my mom wasn't feeling good enough to get out of bed. So their big thing to do was have O climb in bed and they would watch TV together. It was special for my mom and now I'm seeing maybe it was for O too.
Olivia said she drew me the picture because she knew I was missing Bebe and she wanted me to have something to remind me of her. Oh. My. Word. What a gift from my daughter. And she thought of that while at school. You can only imagine the tears. It might be the best present I get this Christmas. With a close second coming from Jenny. And it's only December 7th for crying out loud.
She also came home yesterday having drawn a family portrait. She even included Baxter in the far right corner (he's yellow with brown spots... artistic license I guess.)
I appreciate how thin she made me. Seriously, stop with the gifts already. A mama's heart can barely take it!
I love the detail, though. Turner has yellow hair, Quinn has black hair and she and I are wearing skirts.
Today my heart overflows with thankfulness sprinkled with some sadness. I guess that's just what life looks like these days.