Long, Hard Month

Well, tomorrow is Christmas Eve. One good thing about this past month is that I feel Christmas in a completely different way this year. All of the glitz and ephemeral superficiality is just not even there for me. I am more aware of and grateful for my Savior and His life this Christmas than ever before. I mean, I am always aware and always try to make that the focus of Christmas, but this year is just different.

In the past month we’ve had 4 family deaths… extended family (2 cousins and 2 uncles) and they were ill and it wasn’t entirely unexpected, and was even somewhat of a “relief” for them to end their suffering. But it still sucks you know. Also my father in law is terminal with liver failure. No idea how long he has, but he’s not doing well. And then last week my close friend of almost 15 years very unexpectedly lost her husband to suicide. I almost can’t even type those words. It has been so hard.

When I went to the funeral and saw her, my heart just completely shattered. You could literally see the lines of stress and grief on her face, as if she had aged 10 years in those 5 days… as if her tears were so heavily laden with grief that they etched sorrow permanently into her beautiful face. She has such grace and strength, but I could feel her just needing to collapse into grief. I wish so desperately that there were something I could do that would actually help her. But really there isn’t much. Just being there, and although that’s the “best” and indeed the only thing to do, it still just doesn’t feel like enough.

So Christmas this year is just completely different than it’s ever been before.

Other than that, I have a chest cold again, for the 3rd time this pregnancy. I’ve had about a week of feeling decent since my last cold turned into bronchitis and the antibiotics finally kicked it out. So I’m sick and exhausted and emotional… and it’s Christmas and we’re hosting and I just can’t do it. I mean, I’ll do it because they have nowhere else to go, but I’m talking bare minimum here. I just don’t have it in me. Whatever gets done, or doesn’t get done, will just have to be good enough.

Anyway, that’s about it. A dismal update but it’s what’s going on. I hope that all of you are having more joy in your Christmas. But no matter what, I pray that the peace of our Savior will encompass you and give you hope and life in the midst of winter.

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