Behold – the Miracle of a Christmas

IMG_1053I sit in my knitting spot, the comfy chair that used to be my mom’s. Snow flakes fall softly, the wind chime sounds delicately clear, and the wood stove punctuates this story with crackles and pops. The curious assortment of shipping boxes that beckoned from beneath my tree have been opened, their treasures revealed and their paper guardians cleared away.

IMG_1051From the outside looking in, it appears to be a rather ordinary day, except for the fact that I am not making sandwiches AND sporting a fairly daring ensemble of navy tights, red slippers, a knee length striped nightie, and my hot pink Underarmour sweatshirt.

There is a hint of magic hanging in the air. A tinge of excitement hums beneath the surface, creating a space to reflect on all the things that make life wealthy beyond measure.

Last night, I spent a few delightful hours with my special friends Patrick, Tim and their amazing family. As all good celebrations do, this one was made of a beautiful setting, good food, laughter, singing, merriment, stimulating conversation and love. What struck me though, besides my utter happiness in all of it, was how life leads us exactly where we are meant to be.

It is true, I have been fairly lost and a tad pathetic, since mom’s departure. I have also discovered things about myself I never knew, simply by virtue of being a caregiver who often put her needs above my own. Dawning now behind the sadness of “the first holiday season without mom”, comes the realization that she has bestowed upon  me with her passing, a great and miraculous gift.

It has been both terrifying and exhilarating to face the permanence of death and my mortality without her as a buffer. I have gone to bed many nights cold and shaken to my core by this ‘alone’ knowing. Now strangely, I feel liberated from something I can’t as yet name.

I am grateful for beloveds, friends, and family who have been witness to the despair of this past few months up close and personal, in all it’s full blown un-gracefulness – perhaps at times with concern or consternation. I am grateful for my beautiful home, resiliency, the slower pace of winter and the great abundance of love in my life.

Later today I am joining my wonderful neighbors to share Christmas dinner. I know we will have a joy filled time sitting around what used to be mom’s dining room table and sharing a fabulous meal.

Thank you mom, for launching me into the future with so much to be thankful for in my life.

And to all of you, may blessings of great joy and peace find a way to warm your day.

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20 Responses to Behold – the Miracle of a Christmas

  1. Samantha Amey says:

    Happiest of holidays to you, Beth. You paint quite a comfortable & cozy picture of your home & your present life.I’m glad that you are creating some peace & space for yourself….you deserve it.

    Thank you so much for your sweet call right after my mother passed. As you might expect, things were very hectic for a time with non-stop phone & computer communications between us sibs. I broke my leg just 4 days before my mother’s passing, so it’s been a difficult time. I would love to talk with you sometime. Is there a best time to call, considering your work schedule & your need for quiet time? Also, here’s my email if you would prefer to chat privately: beadlady@myfairpoint.net

    Best of everything to you, including warm hugs, love & light, Sam

    • Sam, Your capacity for grace is outstanding. Here you are, a comfort to me, when it is I who wishes to extend the same to you. I will email you my schedule and would love to speak with you. Please – let’s talk.

      As for me, I had a far more lovely Christmas than I could have imagined, with calls and messages from many who I love. On the other hand, when I finally got into bed I did heave a sigh of relief, and as I hugged my bear close it was like phew, we made it through Christmas.

      much love to you.

  2. Merry Christmas, dear Beth and a wonderful New Year filled with hope, joy and love.

  3. Kathy says:

    I think something similar happened to me. Before I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer I was scared to die. I am a believer, a Christian, and I do believe that when I die I will go to Heaven. But the idea of death petrified me. Since my mom died, my own fear of death has lessened greatly. I don’t want to die and leave my family, but I don’t fear death anymore. It’s like my mom created a path for me to follow.

    • Kathy, Your words made me smile on so many levels. I hope by now the pain of your mothers death has lessened. You give a surge to my feelings of clarity and relief. We are so blessed that our mothers gave us the ultimate teachings on life. It sounds like the path gets clearer as you go along, is that correct?

      I too have always feared the experience of death. My mom always told me, (even though I always thought otherwise) when you are dead, you are just dead. And so… when nearing the end, when she saw my father, my grandmother, and others long departed, she blew away any last remaining shreds of doubt. I know in my heart – I will see her face when death comes to guide me back to the source of all life, and that my friend sure makes the transition itself a little less scary.

      Thank you for taking the time to respond with such brave, honesty. I am touched and excited to have such a companion in the adventure.

  4. Amy Lapetina says:

    Beth, I would really like to talk to you about what you wrote: “It has been both terrifying and exhilarating to face the permanence of death and my mortality without her as a buffer. I have gone to bed many nights cold and shaken to my core by this ‘alone’ knowing. Now strangely, I feel liberated from something I can’t as yet name.” I need to understand how you went through this process and came out the other side with such a different feeling. You have such strength; you don’t even realize it yet. xxxxxx

  5. Deborah says:

    May the bright and shining new year cast a new illumination on the old one. We love you, dear Beth. Deborah and P and T and M and B and Mike

  6. Robert Vanderwaall says:

    Dear Beth, When I read you describing wrapping paper as “paper guadians”, I knew you are back and I was reminded again why I love your descriptive writings so much. I’m glad to see you healing and growing. Have a great new year. Robert v.

    • Thanks Robert. It has been a tough go in the depths of despair. Ready now to start rebuilding and taking on new challenges. I appreciate that you didn’t give up on me. Hope you and your family are enjoying the holidays. Love the pics that you post on Facebook. Happy New Year.

  7. Sylvie says:

    I love how you wrote ‘ thank you Mom for launching me into the future…”. Thinking of you!

  8. Clanmother says:

    A most wonderful post – a gift of the season to us all. I am looking forward to our shared journey ahead…there are many adventures waiting for us in 2013! I am glad that I found a kindred spirit.

    • Thanks my lovely new friend. I too am looking forward to sharing new experience and adventures with one whom I also experience as kindred. From the first of your words that I read, well it was like my own heart tapped the keys, and my antennae perked up.

      When people ask if I have resolutions for New Year’s, I tell them my goal for 2013 is – to embrace myself and my life. There is a bubbling certainty that we will continue to be led exactly where we are most needed. So excited.

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