Nine P.M. on Christmas Day, and here I sit at my parents' computer. I am taking advantage of the sudden silence to post a little holiday blog.
Family tradition usually--if you don't count the year we all slept through our alarms--decrees rising at six on Christmas morning, but traditions change when children grow up (and stay up till one-thirty in the morning, etc.) and today we got up at 7:20. From then on, feeling more rested, we enjoyed a little normal fun: the reading of Luke 2 from the Bible, opening of stockings and gifts, and late breakfast.
The briefness of time in which life changes struck me today, as it often has before, when a routine holiday call to kinfolk in Florida transformed my family's mood from relaxed and celebratory to pensive and tearful. The health of one of my close relatives has declined so quickly that Mom bought a ticket this afternoon, packed a bag, and got Dad to drive her to the airport just an hour ago.
I don't know what will happen. All I know, amid the surprise of sadness, is that the prayers of this strong woman have meant a lot to me all my life. And that whether she recovers or goes to be with Christ, her soul is at peace with God--I believe it wholeheartedly.
So here I sit, Christmas night; though temporarily alone in this house except for God and the puppy, I feel myself surrounded by many a blessing and joy--joys long-known and comfortable, joys young and tremulous and delightful--yet here and there a very real sorrow.
Perhaps among the things the mother of Christ pondered in her heart were the ultimate reaches of both joy and sorrow meant to be carried and fulfilled by the child she cradled in her arms.