It’s been an emotional week for me for some reason. I think the grief is slipping up on me and I am realizing that it happens when I am least expecting it. But then that is grief, isn’t it? This year alone I can name 5 friends who have lost their moms right off the top of my head without even thinking hard about it. It has been a year of grief for many and it is so difficult to not be able to do something for each and every one of those friends who is experiencing it.
The week started off with volunteering for the last time this year with the Sharing House Christmas Blessings where local parents, grandparents and guardians shop for their children in a magically transformed first floor of a building filled with every kind of gift imaginable. Lynn, who heads up the program, is nothing short of amazing and this week it hit me hard how some of these folks really have nothing other than what they are able to get at this event every year for their kids. A single dad of five found the perfect items and he and the others expressed their sincere gratitude for the generosity of our community who provides thousands of dollars worth of items that are given away each year. When I left on Monday I think they had given out gifts to almost 800 children. Incredible and amazing. Heart warming and yet heart breaking at the same time.
I had a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and my doctor is part of the Advent Health System. Every appointment certain questions are asked. Do you have someone who cares about you? Do you have joy in your life? Those two questions, while they may seem a little odd at first glance, are truly important and I gratefully can honestly answer yes to both. I have a lot of people who truly care about me and yes, yes indeed, I do have joy in my life. What a blessing.
The country is plunging into a cold winter storm coming and from the looks of it we will be incredible cold here in our little county in North Carolina. While it is nothing compared to many parts of the country it just reminds me of the man I gave a stocking hat to on Monday who was wearing no coat and short sleeves in 30 degree weather. My heart hurt that I had nothing else to give him but I am hopeful that he was able to go upstairs to get some warmer clothes.
All of these things have left me contemplative and reflective. Christmas is usually a time of joy and celebration – for many it is a time of struggle and this year a time of incredible cold and horrible weather conditions. For those that are traveling, for those without heat or even without homes, my heart is aching for those and I ask God to be with each and every one. While we gather around our full table I pray for those who have little or no food. I hope you will do the same and reach out in whatever manner you can to those who need a little extra love this year. If you are grieving, you are in my heart. If you are sad and lonely, I will say a prayer for you. To each and every one of you who read this post – I love you.