Merry Christmas, Mom! I took flowers to the cemetery last week. Gosh, the cemetery was so beautiful! It’s one of my favorite places during the holidays. There is more love to be experienced there than in any gaudily decorated mall. There were quite a few families putting up trees and decorations when I was there. Everywhere you could see the love that people put into decorating and including their loved ones in their holiday celebrations. Of course, we all know our loved ones aren’t lying there under the sod; you are all free from any physical encumbrances, no limitations imposed on you by a body any longer. But the cemetery gives us a very special place to gather, to share memories or to ponder alone. There is a sense of aliveness there, oddly enough, because the energy of love is just so powerful and the cemetery is filled with love. One family puts up a cardboard fireplace each year, hung with paper stockings with family names written on them; as new members join the family, new stockings join the others on the mantel. It always touches my heart; those are the kinds of things that always touched yours, too.
When I was cleaning your headstone and polishing it to a gleam, I noticed an incense stick stuck in the dirt around the stone again. That always touches me, too; someone (a stranger, I assume), lights incense and says prayers for you. I sometimes see the red stick in a couple of other graves, but not in all those that surround yours. Someone specifically chooses yours for their incense and prayers. That kind of thing would touch your heart, too, I know.
So, we had Christmas brunch at my place today. Steve offered to bring the food and make brunch for everyone. Ern and the Wesleys brought drinks and food, too. I love that everyone pitches in when they come over, like family always did at home when we had Christmas with you and Dad. There’s no sense of “host and guests;” it’s family all setting up the table, gathering chairs, helping to serve, lighting candles. (BTW, I sent Dad See’s chocolates for Thanksgiving; Amber and I sent him a Hickory Farms basket for Christmas. We didn’t hear from him for either occasion. I miss him so much, Mom, that I just have to try to not think of him too much. Please watch over him, OK?) Brianna wanted me to play Rudolph on the piano after we ate, so I played and some of them sang. Then I played Silver Bells for you since you always loved that. I’ve been playing your other favorites the last few days, too, like Little Drummer Boy, White Christmas and the carols.
I miss you, Mom, but I carry your love with me always. Just look at the beautiful family you started, mom to sons and daughter to granddaughter to great-granddaughters. Your presence is felt in every family celebration. I love you, Mom!