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Christmas: disapointedand enlightened


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Christmas: Disappointed and enlightened

I want to reflect and share with all of you my Christmas and the profound truth that it taught me this year.

I found myself looking forward to Christmas this year dispite the pain of loss that still lives in me from losing my Johnny. Being so far away from my children and grandchildren and knowing every minute what they would be doing left me feeling so lonely and I have to admit feeling sorry for myself.

I told the saga of my Christmas tree and what I went through to get it. That was a very important step for me in my quest to have a "normal" Christmas. Having a large family dinner was out of the question sense there is so little family here but we did plan a holiday dinner at my nieces house with just her family.

On Christmas eve I made cookies and candy and a cake then set out for her house. She lives just three and a half miles from here but when you are alone distance really means little. Because I am still learning the weather and the road I decided to spend the night of Christmas eve as well as Christmas night at her house. I would be with family and not be alone.

On the night of Christmas eve she brought out all of the gifts that she had bought and handed them out. She had more for me and that made me cry. She has given so much to me already. That makes my feelings and the things I want to say even harder. I want to explain but not be critical of her way of life when I know that it is people like her who do more to show the real spirit of Chrismas than most people ever dream of. Still I found myself very disappointed with our Christmas.

When she first moved here a month before I did she sort of adopted a family that was here. She had known the man sense he was a child and set out to help him find his way in the world. He had just gotten out of prison. Until she got here she had no idea that he had a woman he was living with who had 3 children. They were homeless and destitute. She made it her mission to not only feed and house them but give them the Christmas that they would never have had otherwise.. She spent thousands of dollars to help them find a home, transportation and food to see them through the month. She also bought Christmas gifts for their whole family.

Just a few days before Christmas the woman did something that devistated my niece and left her depressed and angry. She decided to have nothing else to do with them because she had been betrayed in the worst possible way. Adding that to the holidays that she remembered with her husband( who died 4 years ago) left her depressed and feeling guilty because she could not accept the way that woman had treated her. Christmas morning found her in the worst mood and feeling sick because of it. Our day just started out all wrong and it got no better as the day wore on. Luckily for me I found one ray of sunshine.

Her phone had been out of order for several days. The phone company was supposed to be at her house Christmas eve and fix the phone. They never showed up. My cell phone does not work at her house. I have heard it is because of the iron in the hills but suspect too that the distance from the tower is too great. Her phone had worked for a short time Christmas eve and that gave me hope. I was to call my children and talk to them and my grandchildren Christmas morning. I awoke early and went to the phone. It was out again. I was miserable and so unhappy. I felt so alone even tho I was at her house with her family. I needed the connection to my own family and there was no way to get that. The road was just too icy to take the chance of driving it with my lack of experience.

I took my dog for a walk and found myself looking out at the creek and the beautiful evergreens all around. I wanted so much to feel that sense of peace that I have searched for but that morning it was gone. In desperation I saw myself standing there with my life so unsettled and the pain of so much loss. I was really feeling sorry for myself. I started talking to Johnny. I told him how lonely I was without him and how much I missed my family. I asked God why had I had to suffer so much for such a short time of happiness. I begged Johnny to please find a way to let me know that he is still with me. With a heavy heart I went back to the house where everyone else was still sleeping.

It was about 9:30 when a knock came at the door. It was Christmas morning but standing there was the telephone repair man! Somehow I felt that my prayers had been answered and once again Johnny was coming through for me when I was in such desperate need. Whoever heard of telephone repairs on Christmas day? I finally got the connection that I needed with my family and felt much better.

I am a person with time schedules and a list of things to do. When a holiday comes I have every thing planned and follow through on my plan. While I was married to my ex husband I was responsible for cooking Christmas dinner. It was a job that I had done with joy and a sense of giving to those that I love. Our meal was usually around noon with the rest of the day for dessert and snacking on the left overs. I waited and waited Christmas morning for her to be ready to start dinner. I refused to eat anything so as not to spoil the big dinner we were to prepare. Time passed and the meal was still waiting to be prepared. I became more and more anxious and more depressed. I also felt guilty for feeling so unappreciative to her for all she has done. My stuborness kept me from eating anything but a few pieces of candy. By the time she finally decided it was time to cook it was 1:00 pm. The meal preperation took a while and while it was cooking she went outside to the creek to walk and find her sense of peace. To make a long story a little shorter it was 8pm by the time our Christmas dinner was ready. By then I had eaten candy and popcorn in a effort to fill the emptiness in my stomache. I know now looking back it was not the lack of food that upset me but going against the traditions that I had come to expect. My stomache was so upset that I ate little of the meal and spent the rest of the evening on the sofa trying to calm my upset stomache.

Because of all of the drama going on with the family that she had helped she had never gotten a Christmas tree and I had one at home decorated and waiting to be enjoyed. My Christmas left me heavy hearted in so many ways but then too it showed me that no matter what it is what is in my heart that really makes each day what it is. I learned one more lesson in my quest for learning about myself and what the meaning of life really is. I have a long way to go but now I am starting to see that the time on the clock is not what is important but the time that is in our hearts and joy that we can hold for a split second or for eternity. I wonder how much of that choice is ours.

When I arrived back at my home last night there was a deer waiting in my front yard. Such a beautiful sight for my eyes and heart! This morning when I took Misty out for her walk I saw such beauty all around me. The sun was peeking through the clouds and the frost had started to melt away.. Everything looked so clean and fresh. The hills around seemed to sparkle as if they had been scrubbed and cleaned for a new day. Off in the distance I could hear the sound of the creek as it makes it's way relentlessly toward the sea.. The hills are covered with evergreens of so many different shades of green that only an artist of the highest ability could even begin to do the scene justice. I look at all of those things and once more I feel that there is a purpose for me being where I am at this time.

Somehow I know this is all a part of my learning and God's plan for my life. I don't really hope to find healing but I do hope to find renewal. Renewal of my appreciation for the gifts that God has given to me and renewal of my soul and spirit so I can appreciate the beauty that surrounds me and make me aware of just how much I have been given.

It cost me dearly to have the little time that I did with my Johnny but I would never trade it for anything. Finding eachother as we did at that time in our lives when we were both so desperate for something to hold on to could not have been coinsidence. Especially the way that we found one another and the circumstances that led to it. Some day I will tell that story but for now I just want everyone to know that Christmas like every other day can be a day of learning. We may be heartbroken or disappointed or both but in the end we are learning something about ourselves and God's gifts to us. My Christmas was not what I expected it to be but it was one that I will never forget. Life can be a very tough teacher but the lessons learned when we least expect them can help us to grow in a way that only God can see.

I hope that all of you had a good Christmas and that you found some sense of peace. I hope too that you too learned a new lesson in life. I wish you peace and health for the coming year. I pray that we will all still be here next year but our words will be a celebration of victory instead of consolment to those who are new to the pain of loss.

Life is not always fair but it would be so much less fair if we did not have so many wonderful people in our lives. People like we have found here and learned to depend on as we share our heartache and trauma of everyday life. That is just one more of the many gifts that we have to be greatful for. In time I hope that I will learn to be more appreciative of what I have and not worry so much about the changes that life has forced on me. My best to all of you. Lillian

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Thanks for writing Lillian. I've experienced some similar feelings. Sometimes I look forward to being with others to distract me from the constant sadness, and sometimes it helps and other times just leaves me feeling like a fish out of water.

We tend to want to hurry through the pain and get on to just feeling the good memories, but grief won't be rushed. And life will never again be as we once knew it.

Perhaps next year you will be able to invite your niece to your house and do Christmas your way! I'm for eating early and snacking the rest of the day too. I know it wasn't the different eating schedule or the lack of a tree that left you feeling down. You hoped for good uplifting feelings being exchanged on Christmas day and your niece's disappointing experiences and low morale managed to transfer somewhat to you.

I am so encouraged by the mood you express now as contrasted to the bitter hurt and anger you were expressing a few months ago. I'm so glad you've found the courage and strength to begin finding a place for yourself in life.

The courage of everybody on this forum helps me to look toward a time when the pain will subside and the peace will grow. I can so identify with everything said by all those here who have lost a spouse or other loved one. We have so many changes to make in our lives.

Wishing for a growing peace for all of us in the New year.


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Once again, let me express to you how much enjoyment I received from reading your story. I am so glad that you were able to find peace for Christmas. I can actually close my eyes and see that deer standing in your yard! What a peaceful sight that must have been to you!

Like you, I pray that everyone on this board can find peace in their hearts for the upcoming year. I pray that God will see fit to perform many well-deserved miracles. I also pray that God will grant a sense of understanding to those of us (often like me) that is still able to totally accept the lot that has been dealt them. I pray that we will be strong for each other and help those that are just now embarking on the journey some of us have been traveling for a while now! I thank God for all the new friends I have met through this board and I pray God will care for them and keep them safe!!! Happy New Year to all!

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You have again written a very wonderful story of your Christmas saga.

I have read it a number of times now. It would be nice if our lessons in life did not have to be so painful, but I suppose if they weren't we would not learn as well as we do.

Thank you for always sharing your thoughts here.

I wish for you a very peaceful New Years and many joys to be seen in the year to come. May our hearts grow lighter so that we may still see the miracles that God presents us everyday.

Much love,


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