A Christmas Tradition

The 10 of us gathered to enjoy the day. Since we would all be scattered about on Christmas Day, we decided to have our feast on the 23rd.

Our Humble house of Beef served a 13 pound Prime Rib with all the fixings.

Lots of laughter, wine, and prayer with the family.

What a great day.

Where ever you might be for Christmas, I’m wishing you and yours the very best.

Merry Christmas.

6th day of Christmas Gratitude

  
Decorating for the holiday does take effort, but this year, I’m glad I got through it.

  
We always decorate the mantle, and display our Christmas cards on the garland and fireplace screen.

The family photos are taken here too.

  
It took three trips to the attic to find the middle of the tree.  I’m convinced we have too much stuff.  Time to purge some of the silly things we aren’t using.

Last year my mother and grandmother both passed away between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Between funerals, and the travel needed to take care of the details, I didn’t really participate in the holiday hub-bub.

On this 6th day of Christmas gratitude, I’m grateful to be on the other side of grief.  I’m supremely grateful for the Joy of the season, the strength to clean and decorate my home, the means to buy presents for my family, the opportunity to plan to entertain my friends and family, and most of all I’m grateful for Jesus.  He’s the reason for this Season.  I wouldn’t have made it through this year without Him.

Goodbye to my mother

It is the end.

The 4 year battle with leiomyosarcoma is over. Diagnosed at stage 4 with masses in the abdomen, lungs, and brain, we have finished, and my mother is home.

Radiation, chemo, surgery, and experimental studies at MD Anderson.

At 2:10 this morning, my mother let go of this earthly realm, and went home.

One thing that she and I could agree on was her winning options. “Philippians 1:22-23 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. ”

We agreed when she was diagnosed that either way; healing, testimony and ministry, or going to heaven, she wins. There is no loss when death has been defeated by Jesus finished work. Her Peace is now complete, and I can see her in my future.

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So my dear friends, as I go through the social conventions of death, burial, and holidays, please send me your prayers and best thoughts, as I hold my head up amongst the wolves of convention who don’t know me, as I say “thank you” to the religious seekers, as I suffer the condemnation of those that don’t share my view on death, Jesus, or boundaries….send loving thoughts my way.

I didn’t share my mothers hobbies, habits, tastes, preferences, friends, church, or opinions on what “truth” means in communication between human beings related to one another….but she is the only human being who gave me birth and life, and taught me every important lesson on what not to do to your family, how not to treat your children, and to have standards without apology.

I chose the red dress for my mom’s final viewing. I chose the upbeat songs. I send her off with a waive of my hand to the sky, knowing that she isn’t here, she is enjoying heaven, and I will see her again someday, and we will finally have a good relationship.

Thanks mom.

The last thought on Thanksgiving…leftovers are all gone

All the planning, preparation, cooking, cleaning, eating, washing dishes, driving, driving, driving, and finding food storage containers for the leftover food is exhausting. Trips to the airport, weepy good byes, and hauling out Christmas decorations, left me barely conscious yesterday. (It is amazing how helpful the extra hands can be, you miss them when they are gone.)

So in order to have sustenance for the family after the enormous feasting, it was of course left overs.

My last thought for Thanksgiving…I’m grateful for left overs to make a pot pie. I’m grateful that there was enough left over to keep my mom in meals for a couple of days. I’m grateful that Thanksgiving comes on a Thursday so that I had all day yesterday to rest without having to go to work today. I’m grateful that everyone got along. I’m grateful that everyone has gone home. I’m just grateful, which is the point of Thanksgiving, isn’t it?

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