Remember and Be Glad. . . My Choice

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts |

Remember and Be Glad. . . My Choice

We visited an outlet store the other day. They advertised a free coffee mug if you purchased $30.00 of items. I wasn’t there to buy. I was there to see about a book signing. But, the more I walked around the store, the more Christmas sales I found. I ended up with a mug. It has the verse Psalm 118:24 on it.

mug

Christmas is everywhere these day; stores, work, home, church. If you are a Scrooge, it isn’t a good time of year for you. Or, if you’ve recently lost a family member. Or maybe, it is the first holiday season since your loved one passed. Either way, it is difficult. As a nurse, I’ve seen it many times. I know this first-hand, too.

 

November 23rd was the due date eight years ago of our unborn child. It seems like every eight-year-old child I see this year is cuter than cute. December 2nd was the 85th anniversary of marriage of George and Mildred Jones, my grandparents. It was also the 18th anniversary of the day Grandma McKnight went to heaven. December 7th is remembered as Pearl Harbor Day. But, for me it is remembered as the day Grandpa McKnight followed Grandma to heaven. Next month there are more such anniversaries, ones that I note. Every. Single. Year.

 

So, what are we to do? What would my mother and grandparents want me to do? Would they be thankful if I spent the day moping around and feeling sorry for myself? I think not. Yet, that can be a real temptation. Sometimes, the loss just reaches out and grabs me by the neck and squeezes. It comes at the strangest moments.

 

Maybe it is when the girl’s choir lines the walls of the church and raises their voices in praise to the Lord. I glance at my husband, his eyes shut, head moving slightly to the music, a look of joy and peace on his face and I am reminded of the look on Grandpa McKnight’s face when he heard glorious music. Of course, the pew would have been shaking from his laugh-cry if it had been Grandpa.

 

Maybe it’s when looking at an adult coloring book of Psalms and I flashback to memories of Grandma McKnight listening to us recite Psalms to her.

color

 

Or, maybe it is in a patient’s room when the old man in the bed is watching episode after episode of westerns. I stand there, holding my breath. Will Matt Dillon save Miss Kitty? And, why didn’t they ever get married anyway? Then, in my mind I see Grandpa Jones sitting on his couch watching his favorite show. My eyes burn.

 

Or maybe, when my husband opens the shades in the kitchen to let in the morning sun and sings, “Sunshine in her window, makes Miriam happy. . .” and I remember just how much Grandma Jones loved John Denver.

 

Or even when the eight-year-old young lady and her daddy play a guitar-piano duet for the Christmas concert.

 

Yes, memories can grab our hearts and twist. They can hurt. But, oh the joy they can bring if we let them.

 

So, this year, rather than letting thoughts of what “might have been” or “I wish they were here” intrude and cause sadness, I think I’ll make a choice to smile at each memory. Maybe I’ll even laugh at some of them and share a story or two. And, I’ll color one of those pages. The one with Psalm 118:24 on it. The verse on the mug. The verse Grandpa McKnight quoted to my sister and me the morning he died. The one on the wall-hanging that belonged to my Grandparents and now sits above my desk.

photo (12)

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.