This time of the year is difficult for me. It is difficult for many people. It has not always been so for me, in fact, quite the opposite. My husband, Paul, loved Christmas. Those who knew him might not ever guess that but it is true. He liked the family & friend time. His dad & his girlfriend used to come stay with us for the holidays and we would go to Paul's family get togethers on Christmas day. It was always so lovely. I do miss it. I don't think anyone but kids loved the whole Christmas tree thing, picking one out, decorating it, getting a new decoration each year like Paul did. One year we could not afford to buy a tree and that was not ok with him so he found a way to get us one. A local park was over run with invasive junipers and if you cut one down you could take it home for free. So, out he went to get us a tree. He chopped it down and drove it home. Paul was not a tree chopping kind of guy. It came complete with an empty bird's nest and lots of dripping sap which we quickly found out that I was very allergic to. Paul had to do all of the decorating that year. We had our tree. When we lived in our tiny LA apartment and were broke he still bought a Christmas tree. Needless to say I have lots of great Christmas tree ornaments but they have not been hung since he passed. I still can't look at them. I just want Christmas to be over and I want it to stay gone.
This morning my mother found out that her best friend was killed in a car accident last night. This woman was over at my mom's delivering homemade cookies yesterday afternoon when I called. You just never know what is going to happen. Life moves forward and it does not care when it decides to take a turn. It is another reminder that every moment of every day is precious. Live it that way!
A beautiful thing happened to my mom this afternoon though. It is a long back story so I am going to try to sum it up. After my dad passed on in February 2009 there was a cardinal would visit my yard throughout the year. It would appear every time things were not going well and always when I would talk to my dad's spirit. I began to believe that this red bird was my dad visiting me. The morning of the day Paul passed on I was sitting outside crying and I asked him for any sign to let me know it was ok. A red bird appeared to me and started singing and kept singing for a few hours. I believe that was Paul. He owed me a song. He used to play guitar and sing to me almost every day. We had talked about how he owed me a song the day before he died. That same red bird was in my yard nonstop for weeks. I saw red birds all over the city for months. So I looked into it and there is a belief that when a person's spirit transitions and they want to visit someone in this world that they come back as birds. I shared this with my mom and she started seeing red birds in her yard too especially during times that were difficult. So we both believe that our red birds are our husbands or any loved one that is taking care of us from the other side. Today, for the first time in months, she had two red birds at the bird feeder in her yard. I asked my dad, my husband and my sister Sue to be with mom and give her peace. When she called to tell me about the birds she sounded happy and said she knew that she was being taken care of and it would be ok. This is our Christmas miracle and our gift! This is more Christmas than anything I can think of at the moment. It put a smile on my face and hers and that is no small task today.
Christmas is not about material stuff. It is about the gifts we give and receive that have no monetary attachment. We get them every day we just must be open to receiving them especially in the sad times.
This isn't a sappy sweet Christmas story. It is a crazy, messy, real life Christmas story and that is ok. Remember every moment is precious so cherish them and have a happy holidays!