I’ve started this latest blog several times…..the first time before Thanksgiving. Last year at this time, we were numb; this year, it just seemed to be all too real, and I began thinking of Todd Stockler’s blog on the Crucible (Todd’s daughter died in a car wreck in June 09 – I began following his blog last spring to which I attribute to the beginning of our quest back to living). He describes the Crucible as a metaphor for our hardships, difficulties, and pain but then goes on to explain how “Crucible” also means “night-light” – a way for us to see how God is still in control – our night-light of reassurance. I really thought I had made progress in my journey, but then I felt I was back in the furnace of the Crucible, dreading the holidays….. as other beautiful souls left this life last week……. so, in the past year, my dear cousin Jacque who made everyone she encountered feel special, then my college best friend Sandy who loved life and like Jacque made you laugh…..then, Janine last week – who brought beautiful art into the lives of so many children whose vision of beauty is clouded with poverty…and, although I didn’t know Elizabeth Edwards personally, our spirits touched from both knowing the pain of losing a child….I have taken comfort from and admired her strength. Beautiful souls who leave indelible marks on those whose path they crossed……….may the light they brought to us forever shine in our hearts.
Dear John Michael,
You are the most beautiful soul in my life. As the heat of the Crucible continues to mold Dad and me for a purpose greater than we, we’ve taken comfort from reading excerpts from Max Lucado’s Come Thirsty and Traveling Light…….reminding us that instead of dreading the holiday you loved most of all, we need to embrace it and remember the joy Christmas brought you………so I take a Christmas journey through your eyes…..Christmas holidays with the cousins – the cozy coupe, the Rockette Show at Radio City Music Hall – with the awe of the live Nativity scene downtown NYC, shopping at Macys – and, you so concerned about the homeless, the Nashville Symphony Christmas show with Amy Grant (you tried to figure out each instrument’s sound), endless shopping, nursing home caroling, school programs, Church pageants and Christmas Eve lighting services, inviting anyone without family near for Christmas Eve, and you and dad decorating the Christmas tree (and, the outside lights, when you would try to disappear). How could I forget the Nutcrackers – and, going to see the Nutcracker Ballet with Karen and SJ when you were maybe four. Although I always had a Christmas Creche, you insisted on one for just your room…..for you truly knew the reason for the season was Jesus. So, as I travel this journey into the past, I celebrate the joy you brought to us; the memory of that joy still warms our hearts….and, allows us a glimpse of the miracles that lie ahead as we journey closer to you.
Merry Christmas our beautiful soul,
Your Mama and Daddy
May God bless you and give you peace. My love to you and yours, Anna
Dear Marsha and Skip,
My thoughts are with you at this time of year as they always are. Thanks for taking me down that memory lane with all of you. John Michael is always just a memory away for us all. Love you so much, Arden