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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Celebrating Joy

I love Christmas time.  Actually, I love all holidays where my family gathers together. I am drawn into the joy of wanting to celebrate  the ritual -of thanking each other for the time we share together.  Deepening the bonds that hold us tightly connected in our hearts.  Sharing with my loved ones memories we have made together, praising  God for all he has given us. Hoping to to share in spreading the peace and joy that was meant for us all.

 So it is Christmas that offers me the most opportunity to rejoice.  Yet it is this same magical season that finds me desperately  needing and wanting. Yearning to rejoice in something, anything, I have gained, but tormented by remembering what I have lost.  Delighted, I have family that shares, with love and admiration for my sons.  Secretly still though, hiding my sorrow.  So with much work I  put to practice mastering the skill of feeling JOY IN SORROW.   It is Christmas, and I rejoice that I am so blessed to have my sons with me. Happiness flooding me, because, also once again my sisters and their families  join us in celebrating.  Pleased beyond words, that I am able to be surrounded with love and share all this with my sons.  But some what  Saddened, that a Christmas lost, has even entered my mind.  Alone in thought,  facing realistic realization of what the future holds, in the darkest corners of my mind.  Also feeling somewhat angry that this is a fact in my world and in my sons world. Feeling also that I must state-Absolutely not needing  to hear some unsympathetic remark that there is hope, from a fragment of a human being.

  So I watch as Cody struggles to lift his fork to his mouth while we feast and  also fight to hide my tears as Josiah is in need of assistance to help him rip off the wrapping paper from his gifts. My eyes follow my niece and nephew as they move so freely about passing out the gifts.  Rejoicing they are here with us, but remembering  a Christmas not to long ago, when it was my own child under the tree pulling out a present to pass around.  Wanting it to be my sons joining my nieces and nephews as they run to go out side and play on the icy lake. Feeling sad that when  my beautiful niece Kayla asked if Josiah and Cody could join them I had to decline, because I was limited in my own physical capabilities. I simply  could not safely maneuver them down the icy hill leading to the lake let alone help them through the snow.   So I embrace the joy I feel as my sons  accept playing with Legos.

I watch in awe of the glory that surrounds me.  Love filling me as my nephew Blake kisses my sons, his cousins good night on the forehead then, makes time to cuddle  by me.  Holding captive the warm feeling I have as out of town friends take  time to spend with us. Graciously, accepting whatever accommodations I can give them, just happy to be able spend the night.  Embracing all the merriment brought to my home, by  loving family and friends. Making new memories of another Christmas

 Hoping that the joy I see in  my sisters eyes, as they celebrate with their husbands, might some day be in mine. Shyly, watching as they toast Christmas cheer with a kiss.  Wanting desperately, to know that kind of love they share together.  Yes, it is Christmas, soon to be a New Year and I celebrate. For a split moment I wonder how I appear to them.   Holding my sons in my arms, laughing, smiling, and hoping that  I am hiding the fear, the sorrow, and  the loss I feel. Wishing that the emotions pulling at me now would vanish, or somehow for just a mere second, leave me to feel anything other than sorrow and joy at the same time- for just once.  We celebrate a joyous Holy Holiday. Me beaming when we  attend Christmas eve mass where,  My eldest son  plays his violin.  So proud, as I sit,  alone, amongst my  sisters and their Husbands in our pew. Wishing the church was remotely accessible, to accommodate Cody and Josiah. Thinking back to a time when I too had my spouse next to me, along with my two younger children, as  Zach played for the service.  This year  feeling thrilled, when my overnight guests teenage son agreed to adorn my Santa suit and make a surprise appearance outside our back door, to give my boys more Christmas excitement.

Somehow just now I realize,  not from  venting, but by my writing, sharing from my heart,  I begin to see- it doesn't matter to me anymore how or why these feelings are coming to me-Just that I am blessed to have them and share them.  What ever JOY I can find, I will take it.  Run with it. Though  I may shed tears to find it-I embrace it just the same.

 As only God can do, the  timing (his timing) was perfect- I walked in on  Cody today, scooting down the hallway in his desk chair heading to the family room from his bedroom across the house.  He looked up at me and said "let me do it myself mom." I stepped back and watched him scoot across our rambler, tears of joy running down my face.   ( yes joy with sorrow still)  But so intended for me.  Joy that I shared with Cody.  I in my human state of mind of course wished I had someone else to share that instant of a moment with other than just  Cody.  But I am learning- this was something  God intended for me, just me. Perhaps because I too in some obscure way am special.       

It is the Christmas season and  New year now approaches.  My thoughts and prayers are with so many of my DMD friends that are also struggling at this time with something.  I pray that you all will be surrounded by love and joy,  And that you will always find strength especially when you need it most.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!   

Saturday, December 1, 2012

There was not  a trace of snow to be found, as I scanned the courtyard.  No matter, I thought to myself, as we watched  a sleigh with two reindeer attached pull up in front of us. Eagerly, my two younger sons Josiah and Cody waited at my sides. Amazingly along the sides of the sleds runners, were wheels.  I smiled as I explained to Josiah, that this was exactly how Santa's sleigh must be, so he could visit warmer climates that did not ever get snow.   Excited we approached the sled that harnessed Donner and Blitzen.  Cheerfully we were informed that the reindeer were a bit anxious themselves and on a ride earlier, had attempted to speed up there pace.  Warning us we could feel a bit of a jerk, should they decide to gain speed again.  However,  they would do their best to keep the sled grounded and not let us take off in flight.  Josiah's beautiful brown eyes widened as he smiled-  the mere thought of this undoubtedly sounded utterly fantastic. Flying through the air just seemed to be in their blood-we joked together. 

I sized the sleigh up along with my  brother in-law Bill,  who had  graciously agreed to accompany us today, along with his wife, my sister Marie. We are so blessed, with both of them always lovingly and eager to assist us, whenever possible. Lifting my sons high enough to place them inside the sleigh was our only posing problem.  As if on Que, and not letting us fret for a moment, two men approached us offering to help load both of my sons.  With in seconds it seemed we were all comfortably seated covered with a blanket and off on our journey.

Our ride was wonderful, and it was the first time my sons had ever been in a real open winter sleigh. Having reindeer pull it  made our experience even more festive, with  the Holiday spirit seeming to be all around us.  It did not matter to us nor the reindeer that there  was no snow to be found anywhere. Relaxing during the ride I had decided it was a most pleasant joyous way to share with my sons the beginning of the  25 days of Christmas.
It is this magical season, where joyous events can occur and  often brings out the warmest welcomes, filling us with the wonder and awe of the season.  At the end of the ride as I lifted my Josiah in my arms-(while still in the  open sleigh)- to lower  him into the waiting arms of a  kind stranger,  that instantly filled my heart with the magic of the season.  As I stood holding Josiah, like Mary may have held Jesus on that first night, and welcomed  strangers that came to adore her infant son,  I could not help but feel joy, that this was all made special for my sons.  This stranger carefully listened to my instructions, and with waiting arms embraced my youngest.  I watched as he carefully placed Josiah back in his waiting wheelchair.  Then swiftly, he turned around to offer me his hand to help assist me in getting down.

It is not always easy for me to ask for help on this arduous journey with my sons.  However, I try to  not  let my pride prevent me from accepting a helping hand when ever offered.  For I know, often I am giving back  by allowing others to experience the joy in helping and giving of themselves.  In this Christmas season as I reflect on the good Blessings we have received by the generosity of so many, I give thanks to our Lord for allowing me to see and feel Joy in Sorrow.