Thursday, December 23, 2010



Giddy, giddy, giddy!  I get so giddy with anticipation as Advent comes to an end and we approach Christmas! I love Advent (see previous post) and all the inner work and calm presence that it provides. But I find myself yearning for the fireworks and happy joy that is Christmas!

I’m restless, anticipatory, finding it difficult to live in the present moment because I’m looking ahead to Saturday, planning my trip to my daughter’s home … then my brother’s … then my Dad’s; envisioning everyone opening the presents that I’ve chosen for each of them. Giving gifts is one of the best parts of Christmas! (Being together with those we love is the best.) I try to put careful thought into the presents and that makes it all the more delicious when I see the recipient’s happy smiles and I know I’ve hit the mark. Yippee!

I took a vacation day today and I’m glad I had a lot to do with my restless self. In the morning, I had two lab tests: bone densitometry and mammogram. Both went smoothly; in and out in an hour. Stopped at Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things and bought a pretty bouquet to take to the cemetery for my mom. After the cemetery, I had a hair appointment in the afternoon. Full day and kept me busy.

122310 mom flowers

The cemetery at Christmas is absolutely THE most festive and joyful place to be! Christmas decor explodes in a riot of color and sparkle all over the hills of Good Shepherd. It’s been raining for the last 5 days, but today was nice and clear so there were a lot of families there putting up their holiday decorations; everyone working together, chatting, being family. Red, white and yellow poinsettias in big, foil-covered pots; white picket fences with gold, silver and colored garlands; cardboard fireplaces; giant red-and-white candy canes; angels, snowmen, Santas, wreaths. And the Christmas trees everywhere! Brightly, joyfully decorated with ornaments and garland wound round and round. I wish I could take pics of it all and share with you but it really has to be experienced in person. One family puts up a large cardboard fireplace and hangs stockings on it with each family member’s name; each year, more and more stockings are added to the fireplace. It always moves me; their family clearly consists of those who are still here physically as well as their loved one who crossed over.

And that’s the other beauty of the cemetery: you can feel the air almost vibrating with all the love there! I wish I could share it with you; it’s utterly amazing and always stops me for a moment as I become accustomed to the vibration there. I believe that when we think of others with love in our hearts, we often create a strong, loving connection to them in spirit, whether they’re with or without a physical body. (When my daughter was a child, if we were apart, I’d think of her or she’d think of me with love and the other would feel it with absolute certainty. My mom did that, too, all my life, and even now I sense her loving presence at times.) The physical sense doesn’t matter; it’s temporary anyway and can get in the way of the deepest connections we can make. The forever part of our selves—our spirits—are joined in a beautiful wave of love.

It’s that love connection that makes the air vibrate, I think. As people decorate with their families, they’re loving those who are with them, they’re loving those who have gone ahead of them, they’re remembering their ancestors and their people, where they’ve come from, where they’ve been. It’s all infused with a powerful, abiding, enduring love. The connections blend and blur, filling the air, the earth, the sky, the decorations, the Christmas trees. It’s an amazing experience; I think it’s especially powerful there because ALL those people are gathered there on behalf of loved ones, thinking, remembering and creating a whole lot of love energy concentrated all in one place. Even after they’ve left, that palpable energy remains in the places they’ve been. I’m really glad we still have cemeteries where so many can gather to generate this amazing and loving experience.

122310 mom headstone

I hadn’t been to the cemetery since July when I broke my ankle. Mom’s headstone was in sore need of polishing and the leaves needed to be cleared off. I tried to pry the flower vases from the holes in the ground but they were tightly and stubbornly stuck. I wrestled and wrestled with them until one of the cemetery workers driving by stopped to help, using his shovel to pull the vases out and then to clear the overgrown grass around them. I was grateful for his kind help and wished him a Merry Christmas as he smiled, waved and drove away. I arranged my flowers, cleared away the grass and polished and polished Mom’s headstone until it gleamed. I knelt and prayed, sending her love, sending love to my tios and tias, my abuelos, my cousins and friends who have all gone ahead, adding to the existing loving energy in that place. My restlessness became a calmer, quieter, loving giddiness. Filled with love from all that energy, I’m soooooo ready for Christmas.



WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Wishful warm thoughts of hope and perseverence in the faith of Christ! Loved ones pass from us, but rise in the Truth, the WAy, And the Light!

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

LauraX said...

Rose, this is so beautiful...I feel the buoyancy of your spirit all the way across the country...what a beautiful way to celebrate with your Mom and all the other loving spirits.

May you be blessed with the same light you infuse the rest of us with...well, I guess that goes without saying, as we are all part of the same light.

love to you dear one

Darla said...

Rose, you shared such an incredible gift with your writing here... I had never contemplated the cemetery at this time of year. You said "And that’s the other beauty of the cemetery: you can feel the air almost vibrating with all the love there! I wish I could share it with you; it’s utterly amazing and always stops me for a moment as I become accustomed to the vibration there." So beautiful!!! Bright Blessings!

Connie said...

Dearest Rose,
I look forward to each Christmas Eve when you go to the cementary and describe your feelings, the decorations and love that flows through the area as you visit your mother. My family is all buried in Southern Illinois and I don't get their very often. When I was little, we use to go all the time. All family members are there and we went to visit my brother.
Thank you Rose for sharing your thoughts and love about your mother.
Merry Christmas!
I love you, Rose.

Carol S. said...

Merry Christmas joyful Rose. Your stories details give me a vivid picture of your experience. I have a 49 year old friend that passed away this year of pancreatic cancer, my grade school friends husband. His cemetary is near my house, and I often give him a wave as I pass and have visited once. I'm comforted knowing people like you are there at the holidays sprinkling joy.

sheri said...

YAY - now i can leave a comment! for whatever reason i wasn't able to the other day. BUT all to say that Rose, i may not comment much but dear friend, you keep my thoughts focused, centered and on point. I love your writing, and i just want you to know how much your virtual friendship means to me. God bless sweet Rose - here's to a new year and many blessings!

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

Thank you, Andrew, for your visit and your loving comment!
Laura - love and light to you, my friend!
Darla - I'm glad I could offer another perspective. Bright blessings to you, too!
Connie - We're been friends long enough, you could almost write this post for me - lol! It's wonderful to think of those who have shared our journeys and been released from their bodies, isn't it?
Sweet Carol - How wonderful that you remember your friend with a wave! I love that!
Sheri - Thank you for your kind friendship and warm humor. You are a treasure! God's blessings to you and yours!

dec0r8or said...

This was a lovely post, Rose. I found myself thinking of you today as I "accidentally" dialed my mother's cell phone number from my phone today--Life's gentle reminders. :)

for the love of a house said...

Rose.... I was just thinking of you last week, so it was 'wonderful' to hear from you! I hope you had a very merry christmas.
I so understand when you speak of the energy at the cemetary. We have amazing, gorgeous 200 year old cemetaries in our town and I love to viist them. Once this past summer Dan and I took a bottle of wine to the closest, just down the road, and walked and read headstones (such beautiful and interesting names), and then we would toasted them and thier life and their soul. It was absolutley lovely.

I wish you a very healthy, happy new year filled with great joy.

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

Sharon - So true! I think our loved ones remind us that we don't need physical bodies to connect; we just need love.

Joan - That is such a lovely, lovely thing to do! I sometimes wander through the cemetery, too, reading the headstones, putting together the stories. Many of our city's founders and their families are buried in ours, so it's interesting to see names on headstones that are also names of our streets.