Last year for the One Word blog carnival, Grief was one of the topics we wrote about in December. The gist of my post was that Christmas is a tough time to grieve, and I shared my prayer for those who are grieving to find it in their hearts to rejoice in the birth of their own Savior, and hopefully the Savior of the one / ones they lost.
This December, we are blogging on the opposite word, Rejoice, for the One Word Blog carnival. A much more fitting topic during this season, you'd think, except for the fact that this is my first Christmas without my Mom. I wept on the First Easter and Mother's Day without her. I went to her grave site on my birthday. I held it together for the most part her birthday, but then, I had a Mass said for her and was blessed to have my aunt, uncle and cousins there to offer support.
I miss her. I watch a new movie on the Hallmark Channel, and when it is over, I tear up thinking about how much mom would have enjoyed the movie. Then this little voice says in my ear "Really Helen? You think your Momma is thinking 'Yes, the fruits of Heaven are nice, but it's too bad I had to miss 'Debbie Macomber's Call Me Mrs. Miracle'?" And I laugh. As delightful as that movie was, I know that Momma isn't missing a thing.
I listen to Bing Crosby singing "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas", and I start to sing, then I feel guilty because Momma loved Bing Crosby and I shouldn't feel like singing the first year she is gone. Then I remember how much Mom loved to hear me sing, (not that I sing well, just that she was the kind of Momma who was happy when I was happy, you know...), and I know that it would sadden her if the songs left my heart. (Besides that, she gets to hear Bing Crosby LIVE this Christmas, right?)
I think of how the last few years I prayed that those who grieve would be able to rejoice at Christmas in the birth of their own and their loved one's Savior, and I am amazed at the tenderness of God... He has given me the very gift I prayed for others.
"Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today,
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day
Mary's boy child, Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day.
For a moment the world was aglow, all the bells rang out
there were tears of joy and laughter, people shouted
"let everyone know, there is hope for all to find peace".
These words make me weep with overwhelming joy.
"Oh my Lord, You sent your son to save us
Oh my Lord, Your very self you gave us
Oh my Lord, That sin may not enslave us
And love may reign once more "