Friday, December 4, 2015

Welcoming the Christmas Season

Hello Family and Friends,

I added a post on December first that was a "GIF" to welcome the season.  I didn't spend much time with it and it was simple but sent greetings out to those who read this blog.

The next day I was having technical difficulties and decided to remove it since it was the only change I had made.  After removing it I thought all was well again, but these words kept jumping around as I wrote this. (So between my difficulties with the computer and my schedule I'm not doing very well at getting this post done - it's taken me parts of three days now!)

Anyway -  I'm adding this apology for the error of my ways.  :)   It has confused and saddened a few of my loyal readers to know that there was once a post but it no longer exists.  I'm sorry!

I've stolen this image from google, and hope it brightens your day!  It is certainly meant to share love in this moment in time.

Image result for merry christmas

With the weather as it has been in our area (snowy, icy, cold and dangerous to drive in, especially in the early mornings) our school district had a two hour late start on Wednesday and Thursday, which means there was no seminary those two days.

This is not necessarily a good thing, in fact, I missed it, but it has allowed me more time at home, so I'm trying to decorate for Christmas.

I didn't decorate for many of the holidays this year.  This is especially strange for me, but some of this stuff just doesn't matter to me anymore.  What I used to want or do was done for a reason that doesn't seem to matter to me anymore at the moment.

 Maybe it will another year???  I'm happy that I don't have to think about it or decide that right now.

(Now you see how I am?)  
image from here
(And I'm ok with that!)

However, with this holiday I decided to decorate - not for me, but for everyone else.

In our most recent General Conference, I heard a phrase that interested me because I've been working on it for several years now -

“When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.”  Elder Hales quote from here

(And that keeps changing for me, making things really tricky.)

Anyway, I'm decorating for Christmas because what matters most is ... others!  Yip!  I don't need it, but others do.  Some even expect it from me and would be very disappointed in me if I did not decorate.  And, then it would discourage me ...,

So I did begin to decorate for Christmas on Wednesday.  Trees are out, but not decorated - just placed in their spot.  I've got to purchase some lights because after years of use, they are all burning out.

While I was decorating I even played Christmas music. That was fun.  I did enjoy it and it might help get me in the mood to finish decorating for Christmas.  The combination of Christmas music and Christmas decor, along with the memories of the past, have created a new feel - a personal and tender expression of love, unspoken.  

One of my all time favorite Christmas CDs is A Christmas to Remember, by Amy Grant. I'm currently on my third CD because it gets used and abused.

A Christmas To Remember

This time listening to it, I heard something and felt something I had not before heard and felt.  (Yes, that is still quite common in my life.)   As I was singing along to 'Til The Season Comes 'Round Again the words caught me of guard.  It applied to me in a completely different way than before.

Come and gather around at the table
In the spirit of family and friends
And we'll all join hands and remember this moment
'Til the season comes 'round again

Let's all try to smile for the picture
And we'll hold it as long as we can
May it carry us through
Should we ever get lonely
'Til the season comes 'round again

One night holy and bright
Shining with love from our hearts
By a warm fire,
Let's lift our heads high
And be thankful we're here
'Til this time next year

May the new year be blessed
With good tidings
'Til the next time I see you again
If we must say goodbye
Let the spirit go with you
'Til the season comes 'round again

May the new year be blessed with good tidings
'Til the next time I see you again
If we must say goodbye
Let the spirit go with you
And we'll love and we'll laugh
In the time that we had
'Til the season comes 'round again

I thought of Terry, of course.
I thought of gathering for Christmas last year without him..., and that season is upon us again.
I thought of us all trying to smile for the family picture before the funeral - trying to smile and "hold it as long as [I could]".
I thought of carrying through when I do get lonely 'til the season comes 'round again - and that season is not only a Christmas season, but also the season that I will again be with Terry.   I can hardly wait!

My thoughts continued as the song continued, each phrase touching my heart in a new way.  My heart is grateful for the time that we shared and for the spirit that calms a troubled and saddened heart because we did have to say goodbye for a time.

This song came on at a time when I was working with "my family" that Terry gave me for a birthday gift many years ago.

I didn't want to put it away to bring out Christmas decor, so I moved it with a few other things to this area.  While decorating for Christmas last year, I had moved it from it's original spot on the fireplace to the hutch on the other side of the room.  When Terry looked over to the fireplace to see it one day (not realizing I had moved it) he was surprised to not find it there and asked; "where is my family?" I could sense a hurtful, disappointed tone in his voice when he realized that his family was not there. It was a painful moment for me and the feeling lingers, so I cannot move it out of sight ..., ever.

At this moment, the only decor that is complete is this one small shelf.  
I have since began decorating a little pencil tree right below the shelf, and adding items that represent or remind me of Terry.  I'm not calling it a Terry Tree, but instead it's HisTree!  Just a bit more of His Story in visual form.

Part of a floral arrangement from his funeral.

One of his handkerchiefs

A scrabble ornament I purchased for him many years ago.  We never did put it on the tree, but he kept it hung in the office on the bulletin board.  

Someone gave us a scrabble game for a wedding gift and we played that often (it was the only game we owned for years).  It helped us create many great memories.

The tree isn't complete, but it's a start ... and it feels good.   As I look at it I can also see Terry's shelf in the library and a wreath (with vintage handkerchiefs and elves) we purchased for our Seattle apartment during our last stay there.

I guess this post is proof that things do still matter to me, but one thing I have really thought about is that I didn't realize then that I had everything I wanted!    Not that Terry was the only thing I ever wanted, but he is the one thing I did not want to let go of and now that he is not here I am lost.  I'm different!   Day to day life has become something I am not familiar with.   It's a strange feeling - one I don't completely understand and cannot completely explain.      However, I am grateful for it.  And, I am grateful for this holiday season, and the reason for this season.  I am thankful for Christ!

Well, my post is finally at an end ..., complete with my wish for you -

Image result for merry christmas