(posted by Charity)
I can remember being a little girl and truly waiting in expectation for each Christmas to bring some sort of magical "miracle". I bought into the theory that December 25th can produce a joy you did not anticipate in a way you could not imagine.
Then I grew up.
Sadly, as many of you can attest to, Christmas is usually only as special as you make it with the right focus and a heart of giving and thanksgiving. It can, in fact, be a difficult day with disappointments and reflections that can actually bring pain on this joyous holiday. Loved ones that are absent are missed and the day usually ends, for me, with many sad good-byes.
Several people in my life has asked me to write about what I am learning during the recent loss of our baby this past month. I used to have a blog that I enjoyed very much but having given it up, I don't have opportunity to share like I used to. I will in time find a way to record all the things that have happened and the journey that we have taken but for now, I'll share this.
A couple of days after we arrived home, my father-in-law called me into the front room to watch a program that was on t.v. It was a telecast of a local church service that featured a testimony of one of my elementary school teachers, also a good friend's mother. My friend passed away a few years ago and recently, my former teacher also lost her husband. She was sharing how she intended to face the holiday season while enduring the painful absence of her beloved family members. She explained that she had a collections of photos of her husband on her refrigerator and in the middle a sign that read, "Don't cry because it's over...smile because it happened."
I cried as she recited the saying that had become such an encouragement to her and knew that providence had led me to that couch at that moment to know that it is okay to "smile" and move on from our loss without guilt and with a peace that what was best for me-had undoubtedly occurred.
I knew that I would write my teacher a letter or drop an e-mail to let her know what her vulnerability during a difficult time had meant to me and that she had truly been a blessing.
In a sad and empty moment for me this past Christmas morning, I walked into a church I had not attended before and as I rounded the corner, there she sat-my simple messenger of hope that had no idea she had taught me something...all over again.
She jumped out of her seat and as she walked towards me, we both started to cry. I whispered a few things in her ear along with a kiss and a "thank you". It was a weird, mysterious run-in that delivered a joy I had not anticipated but was much needed and extremely special.
So, this Christmas...
I'm smiling-just because it happened.