I was originally going to write earlier in the week about how to manage stress the week prior to Christmas. I even surveyed a few of my friends, family and colleagues to learn how everyone handles the stress. I started to write… and it just didn’t feel right.
So how about the true reason for the season. I started to write… and it just didn’t feel right. I felt a little preachy.
In light of this, I said to my husband… I am not going to write a Christmas entry. I will just write something for New Year’s.
You see, I get a little melancholy at this time of year. I think that’s why I wasn’t able to write. Christmas was my mother’s favorite time of year and she has been gone for 12 years. It hardly seems that long, and then there are days where it seems like she’s been gone forever.
Then something happened…
As my day progressed, I began to see my mother everywhere. It started when I pulled out my mother’s cookie cutters and spatula to make cookies. I can remember when my father gave me those shortly after she passed, I was so grateful.
As my boys’ excitement began to build I saw myself in them when I was a child… deciding which cookie cutter to use next, what colors of icing to make, what color should be used on each cookie. Then I looked down at my hands and saw my skin starting to dry from the flour, just as her hands did.
It was then that I realized she really isn’t that far away from me. She is in my boys’ excitement. She is in the cookie cutters and spatula that I use. She is in the old traditions that I pass on and in the new traditions as she always tried to think of ways to make the holiday special.
Eventually, my boys lost interest in the cookie making, just as I did as a little girl. I found myself at the kitchen table, alone, icing the cookies just like my mother.
In all these moments, she is still with me, in every simple thing I do. It brought to mind the Mary Elizabeth Frye poem:
“I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.”
So on this holiest of nights, thank you Mom for your persistence in showing me that you are still here with me.
I guess it took me 12 years to realize… you were always here.
Merry Christmas to everyone… love, peace, health and prosperity for each of you in the New Year.