Monday, December 23, 2013

A Grieving Christmas Gift

So I am pretty sure that recent events have earned me a little slack when it comes to a lack of blogging.  In addition to dealing with the loss of a loved one, Henry got an ear infection, Phil got a really bad cold, and I got even more exhausted after we returned from Virginia.  Throw in trying to catch up with work and prepare for Christmas and we are lucky that we have clean laundry.

It helps that Phil and I seem to have an unusually large amount of clothing.  And don't mind re-wearing jeans multiple times between washes.  But I digress...

In the midst of the Christmas cheer, this has been a time of great sadness.  I'm not even sure what the next few days will look like as our family prepares for not only Henry's 1st Christmas (YAY!!), but the first Christmas without Ed.  Bittersweet doesn't even come close to describing.

{Our Elf on the Shelf}

{Watching Christmas Lights while waiting in line for Santa}

It doesn't just seem to be our family that has suffered loss lately.  There seems to be sorrow and sadness in so many places.  Perhaps it is just in our little corner of the world, but we know several people who have either be diagnosed with cancer or lost their battles with cancer/illness in the last couple of months.   My good friend's sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  Our pastor's 3 year old granddaughter is fighting a reoccurance of brain cancer.  Just last night, one of our employee's father-in-law passed away.  A couple of weeks ago, another one of our employee's mother passed away.  One of the contractors we worked with passed away about a month and a half ago.

Then this morning my dad said, "I think God decides to bring some of His children home right before Christmas on purpose.  He has decided he would rather have them celebrating Christmas in Heaven with Him, than suffering on Earth."

I think he's right.

Everyone knows that life is a gift.  Each day and our health are not things we are guaranteed.  Most of us take our health and time with our loved ones for granted and it isn't until we lose someone close or have a health scare that we begin to really value those blessing we have brushed aside.  But there are no promises of tomorrow for anyone.

That idea kind of freaks me out.  I want so badly to have decades left on this earth with the people I love.  And hopefully I will get that.  But in the meantime, I will hug my baby a little more, a little tighter.  And kiss my husband one more time.  And invite myself to dinner with my parents more often.

In this Christmas season, I am so grateful for a healthy family.  It wasn't that long ago I faced my own health scare.  Just 2 years ago, I prepared for my first thyroid cancer surgery, not knowing if it had spread or what the future would hold.  I am so grateful that my ultrasound and bloodwork are still coming back negative for cancer.  I'm so grateful that my baby is healthy and happy (even if he won't sleep through the night).  I'm thankful for a husband who, even though he is in grief, is still kind, loving and a good father.  And I'm so thankful for a Savior who promises eternal life free from pain and suffering in Heaven where we will be reunited with those who have gone before us.  That's the best Christmas gift ever.

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