Last year, at the end of season clearance sales, the kids and I bought some Christmas ornaments. One reads "peace" in a nice script, and the other "HOPE" in all capitals. Peace was hung on the tree early, along with the rest of the decorations. We had peace this year.
However, I found HOPE in my bedroom, in a box of odds and ends, and hung it on the tree Christmas evening. It is on a branch which I can see from my place at the kitchen table, now canting slightly downhill to the left. However, I know now that we can get through the holidays.
My friend Wendy, a woman I greatly admire because of her faith and wisdom, lost both her parents this year--a double whammy, if you forgive the vernacular. Yesterday, she discussed navigating a new course through the holidays. It makes a good analogy, as we are all on this journey, looking back at the memories, and not sure where we are going.
I remember telling the kids for the past three Christmases, "I don't know if we'll have Grandma next year." What we could not possibly foresee last Christmas was that my brother-in-law would leave us after a short but extremely painful battle with cancer. We didn't see the rocks in the water until we were nearly on top of them. However, they didn't capsize us--not yet at least.
I read recently that an optimist stays up to see the new year in, and a pessimist stays up to see the old year out.
I guess I am a pessimist this year, as I would like to put this year behind me. However, I may just keep that Christmas ornament out where I can see it in 2010.