The Christmas of 2010 was supposed to be just like every other Christmas that came before it. Same faces, same places, same routines, same...well, everything. Thankfully my expectations were nothing more than ideas based on superficial, mundane concepts.
A few days ago, Santa came and went, gifts were swooped down upon, played with and left behind in stacks next to torn and discarded wrapping paper.
The cookies were devoured, the movies watched, the stories read. Pretty much like every year except for one thing. Everything was different.
Our family was suffering through a personal loss that we weren't planning. We were suffering through the loss of one of our brightest stars; one of our dearest members.
She wasn't with us this year. She wasn't with her husband, her in-laws, her children. She was alone, preparing to fly out of town to a state she'd never been to before, to a place she never knew existed, until that morning.
Christmas evening, the rest of us stood around the kitchen without her, trying to talk about the usual things while watching the kids play and laugh, feeding our faces though the food never satisfied our hungry souls.
The silence of not having her with us was deafening. My brother, her husband, couldn't stick around for long; the void was too much.
I watched as tears welled up in my mother's eyes. Words of comfort could not pacify the fears. There was a feeling of helplessness that could not be shaken. What was to come of this? What was going to happen?
Who the hell knows what's going to happen when a family is falling apart.
And that's just it...no one knows. No one know just what kind of magic can happen when everyone "accepts defeat", gets out of the way and let's God get His hands on the situation. Magic amongst the sorrow.
Our family, though stunned and shaken, did anything but fall apart. We came together. Still disoriented by the morning's events, we rose above it, stood tall and held on, to each other.
My brother and I shared a moment of understanding and forgiveness. My past mistakes became attributes in his eyes. For only 1,000 days earlier, I found myself exactly where his wife was today. Years of his judgement dissolved instantly.
My mother's constricting bonds of trying to save those in need, those in pain, were cut away. Now she had to let go and in return, was set free. Sad but still free.
Her parents were surrounded by those that could explain and share with them what shey was going through and what she was feeling. To reassure them that she was right where she needed to be. Bittersweet comfort came over them. Hope was born. Thank you Jenniflower.
The children had each other and they had us. Their natural sweetness and strength carried them through the day.
The dog? Well she just was as oblivious as she always was.
Fast forward to today. Today we wait. We wait for her return next month with open arms, hearts and minds.
My sister-in-law is my inspiration to keep going, to keep the faith. She shows me that miracles can happen. She's my hero for reaching out and asking for help.
Through her brokeness will come a family that is closer and stronger than it ever was. She saved us by saving herself.
And I get to cherish this unexpexted gift.
Thank you Sis. I simply love and adore you.