It's that time of year again when we gather together with family and loved ones to celebrate the Holiday Season. That time of year when some of us are once again reminded of Christmases past and hanging on to the hope of the magic of the seasons to come. That time of year when I find myself a bit lost in my own thoughts and sifting through mixed emotions.
Briefly I am reminded of the last Christmas I spent with my mother, 24 years ago. It was a Christmas my sisters and I spent gathered around her deathbed, saying our heartfelt goodbyes. A Christmas, that we celebrated joy in sorrow. We stayed at her bedside, as she slid in and out of consciousness that Christmas. With tear stained cheeks and arms wrapped around each other, my older sister Marie, my younger sister Roxanne and I clung tightly to each other that year. Softly singing Christmas hymns as we watched her drift farther and farther from us. Our embrace tightening while we watched her chest rise, as her breathing became more labored. It was that Christmas as I stood in between my two sisters, expecting my second child, that I became deeply aware of the bond that I shared with them. It was then that I also began to learn they would be the strength I would need to get through the sorrows that lay ahead for me and for my sons. For in the years to come I would learn that two of my three sons (my two youngest) would be diagnosed with a fatal muscle disease, and in the years to follow it would be my sisters, holding my hand as my dreams are shattered.
It is the Spirit of the Holiday Season I want to share, and rejoice in however. The Blessings of this most Holy time of year. I want to share the magic of this season, with the recent abilities I have seen regained in my Josiah. The happy tears I rejoice with to see joy come back into my sons eyes for the first time in almost 2 years. This Christmas I give special thanks that I not only have all my sons with me but, I am once again, blessed to be able to celebrate with both my sisters at my side. As I reflect momentarily on the past years and the deep bond I share with my sisters I cant help but share, that my sisters and I are the last living members of our family of 8.
So it is very near and dear to me this year that my that sister Roxanne gifted Marie and I special necklaces. Each of us given a third of a heart on a chain, that when put together create one heart. Symbolic of the special love and connection we have with each other. Me being the middle sister of course I have the hearts center.
As we hug and give a toast to the years we have celebrated together, we also briefly reflect on the sentiments of the past. For just a moment we tighten our embrace as we remember those losses we have shared over the years, the joys we have felt together and the Christmases we will share to come.
So this season we honor the Birth of our Lord but we also celebrate this magical gift of the love we share between us. There simply is nothing like the love of family and the bond shared between sisters. Happy Holidays everyone.