The Christmas season is here and the world is moving faster. Cars fill the roads, horns honk, and patience is forgotten. Television blares commercials urging parents to overspend and stand in line for hours to get the latest and greatest. Faster, faster. The hustle and bustle grows more frantic with plans for parties and travel.
I’m reminded of the song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Once I joined the throngs of happy shoppers searching for the “right” gifts. There was a time when I wished for another few minutes to sleep in, but the children were awake and excited to see what Santa had brought.
Christmas Day has been very sad for me since 2009. That year my mother passed away just five days after Christmas…on my hubby and my 30th wedding anniversary. This marked the year I retired from my day job and my beloved became very ill. The next few Christmases were quiet with just the two of us. We didn’t exchange gifts. We celebrated the birth of Jesus, sat by the lit tree and drank hot chocolate, listened to Christmas songs, and just loved each other and our life together.
In 2013, Jesus called my beloved home. While the world is filled with the rush of Christmas, now my time is quiet and filled with memories. I’m grateful for the years of making memories to pull out when I’m feeling sad. This is a time of hiding my pain, smiling, and doing my best not to feel alone when surrounded by family and friends.
When I feel overwhelmed, I turn to prayer and journaling. As a writer, I find release in the written word.
It is hard to explain how I love company and also how I need to just be alone. I think of my family who are in Heaven: my father, mother, grandparents, son, aunts and uncles, and husband. I miss their presence.
Yet each year gets a little easier. Time doesn’t heal, but with Jesus time does ease the pain. I know I’m not alone.
Carol Ann Erhardt