Yesterday was Christmas.
We went as a family to a Christmas Eve gathering at our church. Songs and stories – stories from the several “background” characters in the Nativity. We heard from Elizabeth, the innkeeper, Joseph and several others. It was a very moving experience to hear their interpretations, their thoughts from their vantage points. My eyes welled up and I got choked up on several occasions during the gathering.
I am presently leaving one career and embarking on a different path. It can be a little overwhelming and anxious. I have been wrestling with this leap for a few weeks now and I have gone back and forth on it. I discussed this new path – a path of freelance writing – with my partner, my wife Eileen. She is always supportive and I love her for it. For Christmas she gave me a beautiful leather portfolio to hold my pens, paper and business cards. Absolutely perfect!! I never dreamed of asking for something like this but she knew.
My son Kristofer is from Latvia. He is 17. We recently completed a year-long process of adopting him so this year has been a year of “firsts” for him. The adjustment has not been easy for us or for him but we are making progress. His sister lives with a lovely family in Missouri. She sent him a remote-controlled helicopter and a letter. The letter was heartfelt and touching from an older sister to her younger brother; behind the words of the letter was a palpable acknowledgement of how much each of them have been through to get to where they are today. It also held out hope for a future filled with love and promises for each of them. It was written entirely in English and he read every word out loud.
My mom passed away fourteen years ago just before Christmas. The holiday has never quite been the same since although it has improved with the passage of time. Every year for the past several years my cousin Sue and i make the long drive to upstate New York to pay our respects to our Moms – sisters side by side in life and in final rest. This year Sue presented me with two gifts from those lovely sisters! Sue found a set of talking, plush toy, Three Stooges heads that her Mom had purchased for me many years ago but never had the chance to give them to me. I LOVE the Three Stooges and so did my Aunt Margaret. Then I unwrapped two photos of my Mom from her high school graduation. My Aunt had these treasures in her possession and Sue graciously gifted them to me. There are no words that can adequately express the flood of emotions.
The best gifts are the ones that come from the heart.