I was coming home from grocery shopping this morning, when my drive took my past a nursing home. Outside the front door of the nursing home, there were 5 or 6 adults standing or pacing. It was apparent that they did not live there, but they were there for a reason. I could think of only one reason…the passing of an elderly loved one. I crossed myself, and then sent a little burst of love and peace to those who were bearing witness.
How sad it is to lose someone so close to the holidays! My great aunt’s funeral was on Christmas eve. My mother passed away on New Year’s day, and my grandmother (her mother) passed away on Christmas eve. The memories of those loved ones become so thick at this time of the year, and can strangle the joy and peace that the holidays can bring. At that point my brain took a “quantum leap” and allowed me to see this from a different angle.
What a blessing it must be to pass on during the holidays! You are remembered every year at the same time. If your loved ones can let go of the pain of your passing, then there is joy in the remembering.
This is the first year that I haven’t grieved for my mother and my grandmother. I feel their joy and their love for me stronger than ever and the memories that have come this year have made me smile.
I remember my grandmothers dinette set. One Christmas, she had just gotten a new set, and she was so proud of it. My cousin, Jimmy had a whiskey bottle in his hand and he rubbed the lid of that bottle against the ridges on the side of the table, and I thought Grandma was going to come unhinged! That is the only time that I can remember her dressing anyone down like that! I smile at how precious that is!
I remember my mother staying up late to finish her wrapping, and then getting up early to put the turkey in the oven. She worked so hard at making a good meal for us that day. (And she always baked lots of Christmas cookies, too!) Oooo and Grandma’s date pinwheel cookies! Yum!(sorry got sidetracked by Christmas Cookie memories….:)
I had a moment when I experienced a longing so intense….a longing to have been loved more deeply….more intentionally….and to have known it…from both my grandmother and my mother. It was then that I had another “quantum leap.” It was not their fault. They tried, but I (who had become a loner at a very early age) kept them at bay. I think I was so afraid of disappointing them in some way, that I wouldn’t let them close enough to me, to feel the intensity of their love. In the end…at least with my mother…that became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I know that, as an adult, I disappointed her numerous times. (I am not sorry about that, though. For the most part, I have lived my life in the way that I wanted to live it, and I have no regrets.)
So, the blessing today was for me: that I have come to a new understanding of my life and my loved ones and have a peace in my heart that passes all understanding. May my blessing….become yours….