Saturday, December 26, 2009


Family is one thing that cannot be replaced. Whether we enjoy our family or whether we simply endure them at times, I find that family will go the extra mile when my life is in the dumps.

We all dreaded this Christmas knowing it would be sad without Barry, my dear husband who always made our present opening time one of laughter and joy. Knowing the children present were anxious to get to their own presents, Barry would deliberately drag out opening his gifts taking extra pains to cut each piece of tape, not tear the paper, and just when we thought he was ready to open the box, he would pretend he was going to tell us a tale, and he'd simply lay the box down on his lap as though he had forgotten it.
Little Jon and Paige would groan with frustration because we had a rule that only one gift was opened at the time. He pulled these same shenanigans with my nieces, Lee and Lyn. We adults got a kick out of seeing how many ways he could put off opening the gift in his lap.

We knew this Christmas would be one of the hardest we'd had to go through, and my sister and her husband tried to make it as painless for me as they could. Such dear and loving people. I knew they were sad just as I was but they kept up a positive and cheerful demeanor for me until after the gifts were opened and Gay raised her glass.
"To Barry," she said, and we couldn't hold back our tears.
 But it is all right to cry for those we love and miss. Why shouldn't we mourn? We love him and we miss him so much.

The evening ended however, with much laughter as the girls came and brought a cute and funny game. We sat around the table with our charming little great nephew who is growing up so fast, and the eight of us hooted and guffawed as we tried to explain words that flashed up on an electronic board. It reminds me of charades, but we could talk.

I am grateful for that short span of time when I was lifted up beyond the pall of grief and was able to forget the sorrow hanging over me all day. Laughter is a fantastic way to enhance or stimulate our endorphins, to balance the chemicals in our brains to lift depression.
June, Christmas, 2008

But the best gift I received today was the news that my sister, June, above, had actually walked yesterday after a serious back surgery two weeks ago.
That is a blessing we had all been praying for, and I believe now she will be able to go home and live independently once again.

Our lives take many turns and curves and ups and downs, but with family and good friends surrounding us with love and compassion, we can face whatever comes.

Post written December 26, 2009

1 comment:

Joan Ellen Gage said...

It sounds like you had a good Christmas with family and friends. Your sister's walking is a wonderful gift!
Happy New Year to you!