Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Without You.

I think that many people have had this poem shared with them. People who have had to continue living life without their loved one. It is a sweet poem, with a good, uplifting sentiment. Read through it.

I see the countless Christmas trees,
Around the world below.
With tiny lights, like heaven's stars,
Reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular,
Please wipe away that tear.
For I'm spending Christmas,
With Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs,
That people hold so dear.
But the sounds of music can't compare,
With the Christmas choir up here.

For I have no words to tell you,
The joy their voices bring.
For it is beyond description,
To hear the angels sing.

I can't tell you of the splendor,
Or the peace here in this place.
Can you just imagine Christmas,
With our Savior, face to face?

I'll ask Him to light your spirit,
As I tell Him of your love.
So then pray one for another,
As you lift your eyes above.

Please let your hearts be joyful,
And let your spirit sing.
For I'm Spending Christmas in Heaven,
And I'm walking with the King.

~© Wanda Bencke ~

This poem rubs me the wrong way. It irritates me. It raises my hackles. It makes me hope that I don't receive a card with these words printed on it. There's nothing actually wrong with it. Except... I don't want to be joyful. I want to be bitter. I want to mourn. To weep. To scream into a pillow soaked with tears. And my spirit? It doesn't feel like singing. It feels... alone. Sad. Subdued.

But I have a choice to make. I can't bring her back. My grandmother, the most beautiful woman I've ever known, is not here on earth. Not physically, not in my heart, not in spirit. She is simply not here. She is there. She is in heaven. She really is spending Christmas in Heaven. She really is walking with the King. She really is rejoicing. Worshipping. Dancing. Serving. Oh how that woman loved to serve. I am not with her. She is not with me.

On this day, we celebrate the birth of our Lord. It's not a "Biblical" holiday. Any meaning it has is there because we assign it, not because God put it there. And that's okay. It is good to remember. Good to thank Him. Good to celebrate.

This day is also, traditionally, about family. My family will gather tomorrow. We'll do the things we've always done. But it won't be the same. Because she won't be there. Every heart in the room will be just a little heavy because of it. Every eye will shed a few tears. Hands will tremble as memories flood thoughts. I'll look around, and it will feel like we're... broken. Incomplete.

And I have a choice to make. Will I let the sorrow win? Will I choose bitterness? No. I'll be sad. I miss my Gramma more than I have words to say. And I am sad. I might cry. But I choose life. I choose to go and be with the ones I love, even though I'd rather stay in bed all day. I choose to rejoice in the knowledge that this good-bye is not eternal. I choose to thank God for sending His Son.

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