Thursday, December 29

Christmas reflections ... leading up to the end of 2011

Christmas has come and gone.  My little 3 foot tree still shines brightly.  This is the second year in a row that we used the little tree that we had given to Mom K when she moved into her apartment.  You see, this is the THIRD place we have lived between moving from Anola July 2010 till now, December 2011.  I have been "temporarily housed" for 17 months.  Honestly, we did not think it would ever be this long, but we are dealing with it :)

Our tree decorations, house decorations, and tree stand are all stored in our semi trailer on site here.  Not sure where they are in the stuff, but it is in there.  I put up some garland that I bought, with a couple strands of little lights ... to get in the Christmas mood since Alvin was jokingly accusing me of being a Grinch about decorating!  (gotta love that man!)

I wanted so badly to enjoy the season this year.  And I believe we did ... more than normal.  I had done a fair bit of my shopping on line - so that took some stress away.  I had made a wish list (few posts back) and there are still many things on the list that I don't know if I will get done before January 1st.  Some may have to carry over to next year's Christmas.

We celebrated with our kids - in our "traditional" Christmas Eve style ... got together at Josh and Leah's - ordered in Chinese Food and played cards and just hung out for the evening.  We got to spend some time with Ev - and well, that is simply the best!!  Before we went to their place - Alvin and I went to the first of 3 Christmas Eve services at Eastview.  At the end, anyone wishing to join the choir for the Hallelujah Chorus, was invited to come up.  Alvin and I went.  That song simply gives me goosebumps!!

Christmas Day - our kids were spending time with their other side of the family (Hayes and Thiessen's) and so Alvin and I went out to the Lake and spent Christmas Lunch at my sisters, with many of my Thomas side.  It was relaxing and fun, although we missed those that were not there.  We did not consume as many mashed potatoes as normally since my "little" brother Tim, and Jody and niece Amanda were in Hawaii.  The day was so beautiful, and above normal temps.

The kids, Everett and Alvin and I had our "Christmas" on Boxing Day.  We began with waffles - and then gifts - then later we went to Josh and Leah's after Ev's nap - and spent time walking and playing in the snow at the park.  And then back to decorate a gingerbread house (Ev licked a few candies before putting them in place!) and then supper, and more play time, and then after Ev went to bed we hung out in the downstairs and watched a Christmas movie together.

Our Christmas was relaxing and just so good.  It was quite something to see Everett enjoying Christmas from his 2 year old view!

One thing that we also included on Christmas Day, was a trip to take some flowers to Sunnyside Cemetery.  We didn't feel like we HAD to ... but we WANTED to. You see, our firstborn Grandson would have really been enjoying Christmas here with us - as he would be 3 and a half.  So often I see kids and size them up, and realize how big our little Jay would have been and the things he would be doing!  What a great pair of buddies Jay an Everett would have been,  We parked the car, and I grabbed the flowers from the backseat.  We walked to the little headstone, and I laid them down.  I know that our grandson is in Heaven - and honestly, he doesn't care if I lay flowers.  But, every celebration, every milestone - Jay Benjamin is just so much a part of my heart.

I stood there and wept.  All of a sudden, they just flowed.  Alvin put his arm around me and hugged me.  I just miss our little boy so much.  We can only wonder what he would have been like, or how much he and Everett would be alike ~ or maybe not.  Only God knows that really.

I also realize that Jay is spending his eternity now already, with Jesus, who was the baby that came to the manger, and the Saviour that died on the cross for our sin, and the one who rose again three days later.  I sometimes just dream about heaven - dream about what Jay is doing and what my parents are doing.  Reading the book HEAVEN IS FOR REAL was such a good thing for me.  It has been suggested to me that I have not "worked through" my grief yet because I still talk about our little Jay.  WORKED THROUGH???  Only those working IN their grief knows that you never get THROUGH it .. but that the journey changes you and also changes with time, but you are never "over" it or "through" it ... as if grief only hits for a period of time and then voila! it is gone!!  (sorry, maybe I am sounding a little abrupt here)  My grief/Our grief journey WILL change with the years ... but it will always be "our" journey and we won't be THROUGH it till we get to kiss our sweet boy in Heaven when we go there!  THEN we will be THROUGH it!

It was beautiful at Sunnyside.  Springlike weather.  Not much snow.  And so peaceful.  I am thankful that we were able to stop their before heading to the lake.

Many emotions have made up my season of Christmas.  Music has moved me.  Movies have made me laugh.  Scripture has challenged me.  My grandson Everett has brought so much joy into our Christmas.  We have enjoyed this season ... and have also enjoyed reflecting in this post.  We have hugged friends, laughed with family and friends, talked over coffee and plum pudding, wrapped gifts and unwrapped gifts!  But the greatest gift of all ...  see the Scripture below!

Isaiah 9:6

New Living Translation (NLT)
 6 For a child is born to us,
      a son is given to us.
   The government will rest on his shoulders.
      And he will be called:
   Wonderful Counselor,[a] Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

PS ... sorry, I think I rambled!!

PSS ... thank you to Betty, my sweet friend, who helped me realize something on my wish list last night, when she made me a nice hot cup of homemade hot chocolate with whipped cream!!  Now I can check that one off too!!


ashleymarie said...

i think our christmas this year as a family was the best one yet. a good mix of relaxing and fun!
i smiled when i read that we "played in the snow" rather than you writing that you were pelted by snowballs from your kids! I think i still have a mark on my leg from a snowball from josh!! love you.

Jeannette said...

I appreciate your honesty about grief! We all need to understand this reality!

Joy said...

Ashley I should have included the video of the snowball fight!! I loved Christmas this year too!! It did feel very relaxed, I had mentioned that to dad.

Jeannette .... perhaps through sharing our story with others, others will be able to experience the comfort and peace HE gives during hard times.

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