|Some beach on Whidbey Island|
The Christmas after Ray's mother died was difficult. Jewel was the definition of Christmas for my husband. We slogged through it because that is what we were supposed to but it was horrible. Her death came back fresh and sharp for all of us that year. Christmas stopped that year.
Today is Thanksgiving 2012. It is still dark, my day has not started yet. Before the last pie goes into the oven or the bird starts the long slow roast, before the football games or another NCIS marathon pulls me in, I have a moment to give my thanks to YHVH for that difficult year.
It strikes me as odd that a day has been set aside for giving thanks to God for bringing us through another year just to dash out the door to get more stuff. We will eat a sumptuous meal as a prelude to shopping. "Thanks for what we got, now help me to get more... amen" The best thing about not doing Christmas is not shopping. It isn't that shopping is horrible, but finding a parking space is nasty, worrying about break-ins are fretful, feeling guilt for spending too much, only to have that guilt turn around on Christmas when you realize that you did not spend enough or that your gift is too low rent to compare to the beautiful stuff someone else bought you is embarrassing. I like the lights, I like the Christmas morning feeling, I love that my family will still include me on Christmas (I am hard to get along with). But I do not really like Christmas.
The second year after Jewel's passing, Ray made a menorah It was high time for a new tradition. We ate a lot of Jelly Doughnuts from Tim's and read about the Light of the World. We walked, we still ate a standing rib roast (there are some traditions that must be kept), cookies and clam dip. We talked a little bit about Jewel, about my parents, our sisters and brothers and were thankful for each of them. We talked to God about our sons.... the Gather's were right, uncertain days can be faced because Y'shua/Jesus lives.
Today we will eat a turkey. We will pray for our families. We will love our son's, we will remember Leah and Tyler who were a precious part of our family for a couple of years, we will pray for them and their new family. It will probably be a quiet day. We will try to remember the people in New Jersey and New York whose Thanksgiving may feel like there is less to be thankful for. We will be praying for Ray's brother Rich, across the country from us, spending his first Thanksgiving without his beautiful Kimberly who died too young. And if we are very lucky, we will get out for a walk while Ray can still walk and breath in the beauty of the natural world around us. Just maybe we will pack a left-overs picnic tomorrow and take a trip to Coopville or Leavenworth to shop for books and doo-dahs just because we still love to give.
This whole-lotta blah-blah-blah is the result of reading Ben Hewitt's Post. Not For Sale by Ben Hewitt