Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I love, and have always loved the Christmas season. The lights, the music, the magic. Mostly, the feelings of joy and love that fill us up. This year, though, I'm feeling some sadness mixed in. This year, so many things changed for our little family of four. Our son graduated from college and moved to Minneapolis for grad school. That's SO FAR away! And our daughter is still in college at University of Maryland, which used to be a 30 minute car ride down the highway from home. But then my husband and I moved to North Carolina, leaving our daughter in Maryland. And while it's drive-able in a half day, it's still pretty far away. Thrown into the mix is the fact that I retired this summer before we moved, and so now I'm home all day.
So this year, we're in a new house, our kids are far away, and I'm home alone a lot. Decorating for Christmas this year was bittersweet. I mean, I love it, and it makes me feel warm and helps me celebrate the love of the season - but pretty or not, it's still kind of empty.
On this Tuesday morning, I'm sitting in my chair by the fire, and listening to some new music by an artist I've just discovered, and a song came on that just gripped my heart and squeezed it hard - this song** is all about family at Christmas, and I could just hear my son in these words. And I miss him. SO. Much.
But then I also felt my heart warm, as I know he's where he needs to be, and he's happily in love with his girlfriend, who we've welcomed into our family with open arms. And I know that my daughter, my son, and our "daughter-in-spirit" will be here for Christmas in just over a week, and I feel better. I'm so blessed when I gaze up at the three kids' stockings hanging there, waiting to be filled and then emptied on Christmas morning. Two people for whom my heart beats, and a third who has joined our family like a puzzle piece we didn't know was missing.
I'm thankful today for the quiet of the morning, the unexpected gift of a song that touches my heart, and of course, for the family whose love sustains me even though we're miles apart.
(**the song "Family Tree" by Dave Barnes available on iTunes here)
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