Last year at this time, I was pregnant...very pregnant...moments away from delivering Claire...and the Advent/Christmas spirit could not have been more alive in my heart.
All of the packages were wrapped, the twinkle lights shimmering, the stockings stuffed, and the bassinet ready and waiting to welcome a sweet baby girl.
This year feels very different. The Christmas cards have yet to be ordered, the packages are only an idea in my mind, I keep forgetting that there are only a few days left for "on-time" holiday delivery...and my spirit feels dampened.
We're waiting to say goodbye and with each day, we wonder when he will leave us.
In the interim, I keep thinking, "How can I awaken my soul to that which matters most?" Because truly, if the cards don't go out and the commercial shopping extravaganza doesn't take place...would it be so bad?
My kids believe in Santa and the whole nine yards. We have reindeer food comprised of oatmeal and glitter to help guide Rudolph to our home. They have Santa wish lists and an Advent tree/calendar. We say prayers every evening and read a nightly Advent story. They pray that great grandpa will go to Heaven soon to be with great grandma. They think that would be a beautiful Christmas present. And, I think they're right.
In this time filled with many emotions and superficial to-do's, I am grateful that my family has been gathered, even if it has been in a hospital to relive memories, say good byes and in general, give thanks. I suppose, that's what matters most.