Christmas Playlist…. The Sweetest Gift performed by The Piano Guys and Craig Aven

I heard this song for the first time last night and it completely sums up feelings I try to hide during the Christmas season.

Like many of you, sometimes I find the magic of Christmas to be overwhelmingly sad, because those I love the most aren’t here to enjoy these times with me.  Although I know in my heart they are here, and I add the special memories to my decorations and traditions to include them, often during the season the grief is paralyzing.

I miss my loved ones every day, but there is something about Christmas that makes it more difficult.  While I am good at hiding it, I hold them close to my heart and in my alone times reflect on them even more.

The words of this song sum it all up, a perfect memory for those who celebrate with us in heaven.  While not here physically, in our hearts forever.

 

Unthinkable Loss with the Promise that Sunday is Coming…… for Us All.

Yesterday a family in our community suffered an unspeakable loss, when their young daughter was killed in an accident.

When anyone passes it is sad, when a young preschooler is taken, the hole that tragedy leaves affects us all.

While I don’t know the family well,  I feel for them and cry for their pain.

As we go through life and face these tragedies, we hear people say the cruelest loss of all is when a parent has to bury their child.

From experience, I can say that people are changed forever when a son or daughter is taken too soon.  My parents and family were never the same after my brother passed away.

A young life filled with promise and life and the hope of a future that can make a difference in our world is one of life’s greatest joys, the loss of such a child is one of life’s great pains.

I think it is human nature to question God when these tragedies occur, why would a God who professes to love us, do something so cruel?  I am also confident that God has incredibly large shoulders, he can handle our questions, our anger and our lack of understanding.

There is no rhyme or reason, there is no understanding, as people of faith, we just trust that our Lord has a greater plan for this type of suffering.

As a community it is our responsibility to hold this family close, to provide shoulders of caring and pray for peace as they go through this unimaginable pain.

This family will never be the same.

It is ironic that this tragedy happened at the outset of Holy Week, a time when we of the Christian faith start today with shouts of Hosanna, quickly to be interrupted by the murder of our King and later the overwhelming joy of his resurrection.

I am sure Mary suffered and questioned the loss of her son Jesus on the cross, but with faith, her pain was met by a great reunion with her son Jesus.

This family will someday be reunited with their precious child as well, just as my parents were with my brother when they left this earth for life-everlasting

I can’t put into words what this family must be feeling today.  What I can do is hold them in my prayers and offer love at their loss.

My community is a caring one that will lift this family as they struggle through the coming days, weeks and years.

Another way to honor this child is to remember, life is fleeting, it can be snuffed out in the flash of an eye.  Hold your children close, let go of grudges that keep us from loving, forgive, accept each others short-comings and honor those who are in our lives.

Pain is a horrible thing to overcome, in many cases it is never overcome, but if we hold each other close and if we remember the ultimate sacrifice that Holy Week represents, maybe someday this family will be able to think about this precious child and smile instead of being overcome with grief.

Holy Week is here and the promise that “Sunday is Coming” is fitting to remember; for some, that Sunday may be decades away, but it will come and the reunion awaits for those who believe.

Give Thanks….

It’s Thanksgiving morning and as the world passes by, I reflect back on what there is to be thankful for.  It seems like the world has gone crazy and the bad far outweighs the good.

We live in a country where our differences still have power over our harmonies.  Cities burn in anger, politicians point fingers and our desire for being right pales in comparison to finding common ground.

In my own life, sadness and grief fill my days as a new stage begins without my parents on this earth.

What is there to be thankful for?

This year, I find myself looking at the small things in life, gestures, kindness and adventures to come that give me reason to be abundantly thankful.

On Thanksgiving morning, 2014, I am thankful for friends who stop by my office “just to give you a hug.” Or friends who text, call and email with messages of love and support. Friends who check back day after day to make sure that I am hanging in and know I have a shoulder to lean on when needed.

I am thankful for the laughter of a child, enjoying the treats found in a Marketing Director’s office.  The fascination and million questions delivered when I needed them most.

I am thankful for people who ignore signs that say “Family Only” and enter anyway, saying I am family…. and you know they mean it.

My heart is filled with the generosity of people who honor a life and help inspire future generations through scholarship.

I am overwhelmed by nurses and Hospice staff who become confidants, support and gentle friends.  These people, are able to make life’s transition bearable, offering words of grace and support when they are most needed.  People who stand in line, to greet a family they barely know, when a loved one passes…. just because.

I am thankful for friends old and new, people who share stories and others who sit and listen.  I am thankful.

When the world seems to be running amok, I am thankful for a family that circles our wagons and shares love with one another.  While small in number, I am thankful that we are Rumsey’s, people of strength, compassion, irreverence, modernity and history.  I am thankful.  And I am thankful for the adventures, and promise of future joy yet to come.

This year I am thankful.  When I sit down to too much turkey and fixings, I will be thankful.  Loss is part of life and I am thankful for the adventures and blessings I had for 50 years with a man who exemplified character.  I am thankful, that I know I will see him again and I am most thankful knowing that he is enjoying a reunion with my mom, brother and countless other loved-ones.

Thanksgiving is about taking stock in the good and bad in our lives and realizing we have much to be thankful for.  It is also a time to realize, maybe it is the small things that are most important after all.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone…… I am thankful!