What Christmas Gives We Cannot Buy
Posted on December 23, 2014
I went out this morning with great intentions. I was going to surprise someone with a card and pick up a gift for our granddaughter. Turns out I got the surprise. Missed out on giving the card to someone and then didn’t find what I wanted at Michaels. I was looking at a bunch of traffic piled on the highway and nobody looked happy in the cars. Talk about a joy sucking monster starting to grow in my attitude. All it took was a look in the rear view mirror and I shifted emotional gears. There is one store that I really enjoy going to when I am trying to have a bad day and am fighting it tooth and nail. That store is Whole Foods, the one on the North side of Raleigh. Before anyone gets sideways about the groceries and prices and weird people, just let me set you straight. It is none of that. It is simply the mood of the store and the way it reminds me of old long ago grocery stores.
Actually, my comments are really not so much about the store as it is about the people and the way that the whole store setting makes me feel relaxed and able get my mountain girl self back on solid ground. A couple of days ago on my “Wheredidtheoldmego.com” Face Book page, I talked to you all ab0ut being on the look-out for those that are having a hard time with the Christmas season. As someone who has experienced PTSD and its bastard friends, panic attacks and stress, the last few years have been ones in which I have focused on what can make me appreciate the season. In August of 2011, Duke Raleigh Hospital set into motion a series of events that brought my husband as close to death as he could get without crossing over. For me, each day since the event has been one of Godly struggle to walk a normal path and not allow what happened to him to regenerate negative behavior in me and to not allow my own brain injuries to take me away from being able to care for Mark.
Since this recent Thanksgiving, my sister friend, part of my heart and someone that I deeply loved, lost her battle with breast cancer. She had just sent me a card and message on the 19th of November and was talking about us seeing each other maybe in the Spring. She was talking about living and doing while fighting her cancer. Peggy was not about death. She was about living. I talked with her the day before Thanksgiving and then in less than two weeks, she was gone. Gone. While I and her family and friends were praying for her to get over the pneumonia and get well, Peggy completed her journey here on earth and her Spirit left. I’m smart enough to know that someday we all will die. Our day will come whether we are ready or not. What I wasn’t ready for was for my Peggy to leave. It hit like a ton of bricks this morning and I went to Whole Foods.
Trust me when I tell you that I am NOT the only one who is grieving the loss of this beautiful woman. Her family, her friends, her cancer medical team, even people who only just knew her are grieving her leaving us. For that matter, right now, amongst you, my readers, I will bet that some of you are experiencing heartbreak of a personal nature that is making getting through this time hard. I believe that if we could weigh laughs and tears that happen during the Christmas season, the scale would balance out even. My writing about it is that I know how lonely it feels when one has to bear the unbearable alone. Ten thousand people shopping in a Mall and we can be there and feel as alone as if we were on the Moon. Because I loved Peggy so much, I have to talk about this loss.
I really wasn’t in a warm and fuzzy mood to be talking with God this morning but I did anyway. I told Him that I really was disappointed and that things were not like I thought they should be. I told Him I am tired of people who have no idea of real soul-searing hurt want to yell out hurtful things to people just because they can. How in the hell can so many arrogant idiots think it glorifies them when they yell out to kill and destroy innocents just because they don’t care about the real value of life and all it holds? I don’t understand how the taking of innocent lives brings about balance in our living together as equals. I know how to hate. When I was younger, hate was an easier emotion to go to when someone hurt me or someone I cared about. It took time but as I grew in age, I grew in wisdom. The more I read the bible the better I understood how hate never gives back anything good. Hate can only destroy. It can destroy people, things, goals and even the very world that we live in. Hate can wipe out every good thing done for years and put everybody back to point zero. We, both haters and non-haters alike are left to start over and have to rebuild what was torn down. Some of what hate destroys is never rebuilt. The ruins of hate-filled events are all around us, but we choose to wear blinders. That way no one sees what is happening until it has devastated everything that stood in its way.
For me, Christmas is my Christ’s formal birthdate and therefore, His birthday. In talking with God this morning, which also included some yelling, I told Him that I was still celebrating Christmas. I have some presents and I can bet I have also forgot some presents. Brain Injuries are like that. Try as we brain injured do, we are going to forget something and get something else out of whack. What I haven’t forgot is that in two days, I will be celebrating the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ. For that time of celebration, death and the loss it leaves behind will not be part of my thoughts. If the bread get burned, so what and if I look like I have gained ten pounds, don’t worry, I probably have. All of it won’t amount to a hill of beans. What will matter is that for that day, sadness and hurt will not be here for peace and love will be in our home. Peace and love and friends, family and maybe even people I don’t know. If I do have some time alone, I think I will sit and think of all those who have been here on earth and by their doing good, they left us better off for their having lived. I always like to think that when my time comes and I leave this world to join Peggy and Pat and Jean and Bruce and countless others that people can say about me what I can say about my friends. They lived their lives and the world was all the more better off for their having lived here upon it.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all !