Tuesday, December 21, 2004

That Not So Christmasy Feeling

Now that soccer season is officially over for my son (they took 1st in league for their division).

Now that my wife is finally done with school. I'm so proud of her.

Now that the baby isn't as high maintenance as he was six months ago.

Now that school is out for two weeks and the house is clean, the laundry done for the most part.

The lawn is mowed.

The Christmas lights hung and the decorating done.

I have time to sit and think. Always a dangerous enterprise. This is the first Christmas since my mother died and I'm not very sure how I should be feeling. The fact of the matter is, I'm not sure I miss her in the way I should. Let me clarify. I don't miss the nightmare of the last four years of her life. The pain and suffering. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, see my previous post on the topic.

This is the first Christmas in years where I'm not feeling guilty for taking my family to my in-laws to enjoy a healthy holiday experience. I'm not worrying if she is cold or warm. Did she take the right medication at the right time? Is my brother yelling at her? Is it nice and quiet? Is she in a lot of pain? Did someone change her sheets? I really don't know what to do with this emotional energy I used to direct at such matters. It is almost as if I'm having to re-learn how to live certain aspects and occassions of my life.

I feel this incredible sense of guilt for not missing her. There is almost an absence of emotion. Until I have the time to sit and think.

I miss the mother of my childhood. In spite of the dysfunction, and there was plenty of it, I miss that maternal figure. My mother loved to cook when she was in good health. When I was a kid I could come home after school the week before Christmas break and there always seemed to be something new she had baked that day. The aroma of freshly made spaghetti sauce and lasagna saturated every room in our apartment during this time of year. It was the only time of the year when the chaos of living there seemed to diminish. I miss that. I miss the role she played. Everyone in our family tried harder during those times, however brief they were.

Then, when I play back the last years of her life in my mind, I can only feel sadness. Sadness and regret for all that I did not do. Pain for her suffering and mental confusion. Anger at myself for being so selfish. The memories of my youth are washed out by my recollections of her illness. The delight I find in remembering good Christmases as a child are replaced with reminding myself that she spent the last Christmas of her life in a hospital bed.

Would'nt it be great if they was an 'undo' button in life, like so many Microsoft applications?

What would I do differently? I don't know. I don't want to forget her. But remembering seems so damn painful and gut wrenching at times. I know I must find a way to balance my memories and be glad that she is no longer in pain, but with her Savior and Lord.

Perhaps that is where I can start. If not for His coming into the world, her suffering would continue. My first Christmas without her is her first in the presence of Him whose birth we celebrate. I wonder what Christmas is like in Heaven??

If you are still reading, thanks. Peace and good cheer to all.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

A Little Holiday Help

Hello dear friends. As the celebration of our Savior's birth arrives, my wife and I have begun the process of sending out Christmas cards. Or in our case Christmas photo cards. Anyhow, I don't have everyone's snail mail address. So, if you think I don't have your address, and you would like to receive one of these here cards, complete with a family photo and yes, you guessed it, a family newsletter, email me your address. If you don't have my email address, email someone who does like Scott.

Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.

Monday, December 06, 2004


Amazing love, how can it be.
That you my King would die for me?
Amazing love, I know it's true,
It's my joy to honor you.

In all I do, I honor you.

Amazing love, how can it be that you have taken this broken, evil man and continue to mold me into the person I was meant to be. Taking my deficiencies and failures and yet somehow giving me success as I strive throughout my life to move closer to you.

How can it be that you have begun the process of making me new. I am morally corrupt, selfish and rough. You do not give up on me.

How can it be that you are reforming my heart to feel more compassion and mercy for others. To take others into account of my actions and thoughts. My spirit is hard. My conscience, stubborn. Yet you have decided to transform me, though it take a lifetime.

Amazing love, how can it be that you have taken this self-centered, immoral man, bent on his own needs, desires and gratifications and given him the love of a wonderful woman. A woman who builds me up, makes me better and loves me, warts and all. A woman who daily reminds me of your grace, your love.

How can it be, that I am father to the most beautiful boys I have ever seen. Boys who are warm, affectionate, smart, clever and funny. How can it be that you would take me from a broken, dysfunctional home and created for me a new home and family of my own. A mere reflection of what my heavenly home is like.

Amazing love, how can it be you have taken me through times in my life that were so dark and painful. Times of despair. Times when I was so hopeless I thought I was better off dead. Yet you walked with me. You carried me. Your voice was with me, sustaining me, even when I couldn't hear you.

Lord, I offer you my life. To honor you in all that I do. My work, my family, all I give to you, for you gave everything for me.

As I revel in this Christmas season I am reminded that His birth is the beginning of my rebirth.

I wish we could all sit around together over a cup of coffee. Be well. Peace.