Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Family? Friends? Christmas? Jesus!

Yesterday afternoon, my phone rang.  It was my friend A.  She said I sounded as if I had been crying.  I told her, I had been crying. 

Taking a break from what I should have been working at, I had just watched a travel show I enjoy, Rick Steves' Europe.  Rick had been in Paris.  Showing some of the sights and showing some of the artwork in the Louvre, upset me.  I actually said aloud, "We were there, Gordon."

A said she felt bad.  Hopefully, not as bad as I felt.  I hate feeling this way; I wouldn't want anyone to feel like I do, lately.  I hate making others feel badly, like A was feeling.  Helpless. 

A reminded me that it is a very bad time of the year for people who have had losses.  Boy!  You don't have to tell me.

I'll be so very glad when my Christmas labour of love, delivering gifts and visiting with people, is over.

No.  Not because I don't like Christmas, for I love Christmas.  I always have.

I loved Christmas as a child, not for getting presents, either.  Mainly because of Jesus and family times to celebrate His birth. 

Even when my Dad would go crazy.  Sometimes, getting drunk.  Sometimes, being just plain angry.  One year, he even threw out our Christmas tree, fully decorated.  On Christmas Day.

Didn't he like Christmas?  I think deep down, he did. 

When I was a child, I didn't understand it.  Once I found out as an adult, about the pain he must have suffered, not being able to ever acknowledge having had a child, or not ever having this child of his with him, was almost understandable.  It is almost understandable why he couldn't accept me.  He needed help to deal with his sorrows, but never got it and didn't really learn to deal with them, until many years after I was already an adult.

It did have an effect on me.  I promised myself that if ever I had my own family, we would love Christmas and celebrate, together.

Christmas' for my Dad were obviously not good, growing up.  My Granny in hospital for seven (7) years due to having Tuberculosis (TB).  He and his brothers sent to an orphanage/boys school, because during the depression, my Grandpa could not support him or his brothers, especially with Granny hospitalized.  Being hungry all the time.  Not feeling very loved. 

Now that I know and understand some of the sufferings my Dad experienced; as an adult I believe I understand why my Dad was the way he was, even if I didn't necessarily like it.  After all, as a child I had no knowledge of anything that emotionally affected my Dad, or my Mom.  Growing up, all I ever wanted was a loving family.

If you've been a long-time reader of Life with Lynnie (LwL), you'll know this was always an elusive dream of mine.  To have a loving family.

As an adult, I always tried to make Christmas the most glorious time for my family, and my extended family.  I always tried to make everyone happy. 

Never having just 'family time' for me and mine, we always spent our time with my parents and in-laws, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and sometimes even Boxing Day.  Phew!  There were times when I wished I could just have had private time with my own family. 

But, I never did this, for I always put others' needs above my own.  After all, Christmas is a time of celebration.  Aren't celebrations supposed to include others?  Who ever heard of partying alone?

Now, as a parent of adult children, who have their own families, I realize that my children would like to have private time, for they have told me this.

In fact, many years ago they have made it clear that they don't want to get together as a family to celebrate Christmas, on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve.  So, we usually got together earlier in December, to exchange gifts and usually share a meal, together.

While Gordon was alive, it was hurtful, but at least I had him with me.  With his time off work, instead of sitting around moping, we got moving, and travelled, together.

Together, is the operative word.  Now, there is no more together.  I am alone.  Truly alone.  No one to love, no one to love me.  No one that loves me, for me...to share good times with, to make memories with, to celebrate special times, like Christmas or my birthday.

Oh yes, God has blessed me with good friends.  Christian friends.  I've had several invitations for Christmas dinner.  Each one, I have politely responded that I will not be attending.  Why?  Well, if I'm feeling upset Christmas Day, then I don't want to ruin my friends' Christmas; if I'm not, then there's no reason I couldn't be alone.

It shocked me beyond belief that last year, I spent Christmas, alone.  Not only was I in shock over losing Gordon, but was floored that my family would have even thought it was acceptable, to not include me for Christmas.  But, it seems this is the way of the world, today.  I survived. 

So much for promising myself that I would always celebrate Christmas with family.  Oh yes, what is it some people say?  Promises are made to be broken. 

God has shown me that we don't always get what we want in life.  He knows best, so I just have to trust Him.  My tears?  They're not just self pity, but also sorrow of loss.  Loss of Gordon.  Loss of love.

Celebrate?  Yes, I will do my best to celebrate Christmas for what it is:  the remembrance of the birth of my Saviour, Jesus Christ.  For if He had not come in human form to earth, He wouldn't have died for my sin and for the sin of the world, of all who will believe.

Without Jesus' saving grace, we would all end up in hell, for eternity.  Forever.  And ever...and ever. 

Do you know Jesus as your personal Saviour?  If not, there's no time like the present.  If you would like to discuss this with me, just e-mail me a message and I'll respond, as soon as possible.


Until next time...

If you would like to comment, please e-mail:  lifewithlynnie@gmail.com