The Christmas music has started, have you noticed? It’s early November, but the stores are capitalizing already on our desire to celebrate “the season.” I went to my local downtown bookstore the other day, I have been avoiding stores like the plague this year and shop almost exclusively online, but had to pick up a book so there I was. I took advantage of being out and about and went into the Ten thousand villages store. The piped in Christmas music was blaring, the trees were set up, the ornaments out, the nativity neatly arranged ready for eager Christmas shoppers. I browsed the store with a heavy heart. I haven’t always loved Christmas, but the last few years I had started finding the joy in it again. This year I know is going to be hard.
As I exited the store, I walked behind what looked to be two adult daughters and their mother out for a leisurely afternoon, and I was carrying my newest book for my library collection “The dead moms club.” It took me a fraction of a second to bolt for the cover of my car. I knew there was a reason I avoided going out in public places. (God bless click and collect. )
Things just can’t be the same. They won’t ever be the same.
But then, Sunday morning our two beautiful children got up in church with their Sunday school class and sang their little hearts out “I’ve got Peace like a river in my soul.” Actions and everything with big cheeky grins on their faces. Kicking off what turned into one of those almost perfect Sundays, sun shining fall day, beautiful music at church, cooperative kids, friends, and family joined together for a lovely meal, and amidst the constant cloud of grief, I felt the smallest hint of Joy. It caught me for a moment while the old familiar gang sang an old familiar grace around an old familiar dinner table and while there was a hole in the harmony the love was whole and precious and cherished.
The journey is long, it doesn’t end, it is simply a new path that we’re learning to walk. As I prepare my heart for Christmas, I’m glad to know that I can still feel joy amidst the clouds, even in a small moment.