This December has been a time of loss. Two wonderful people who were part of my church went home to God. More wonderful community members suffered tragic and untimely deaths. All in the few weeks before Christmas. Losing someone at anytime during the year is hard, but Christmas is a time for family, celebration, love, and wonder; not a time to mourn.
I am blessed to have my children. At times when I am missing my Mom, when I don't feel like being in the Christmas spirit, I make myself go through the motions, for the little ones. It is very hard to sing carols, make cookies and decorate a tree without smiling at some point. For their sake (and as it turns out, mine) I play the music, bake the goodies, and unearth the decorations. Usually this gets me out of my funk and helps me remember the good times Mom and I had doing all of the things I now do with my kids.
Seeing the families struggle this month has brought many emotions to the surface. Emotions that I was doing a very good job of hiding. At the celebrations of life, I once again wondered how all these people could go on with life. Talking, sharing stories, laughing. Someone died! Someones heart stopped. Isn't the rest of the world supposed to stop too? How is it that I am still moving forward?
Again, I am blessed to have my children. It would have been very easy for me to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and cry my life away. But that is not what Mom wanted for me. That is not what I want for my children. That is not what anyone wants for their loved ones after they're gone. So, we get up, get dressed, eat something, and live our lives, a little emptier, a little dimmer, but we live.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Thanks to Him, we know our missing loved ones are living again. While we are stuck down here, hopefully gathering more recruits for that Heavenly army, the ones who have been drafted are up there getting ready. So while I can be sad for myself, I cannot be sad for the ones who have gone before me. And I will move on. I will get up, get dressed, and get moving. Along the way, my world will brighten and become fuller.
The memory of my loss will never fade, but neither will my memories of the happy times. I will pass on all I can to future generations. Stories of the love, the compassion, the faith, and the experiences I had with those I love that they do not know. That is why I am still here. That is why I am still moving forward.