We’ve had lots of fun these past few weeks. However, woven in with the joy and fun of Christmas, we’ve had a thread of sadness this year.
I shared with you all last spring how an elderly friend and neighbor had fallen, broken her hip, and hit her head. Doctors didn’t give her much hope of recovery. But she hung on.
Since then, she has been in out of various hospitals and nursing homes. Her condition precarious, her mind failing along with her body.
A friend and I went to see her three days before Christmas. Although the boys and I had visited her a few days before, and had rejoiced in snatches of smiles and recognition, the tiny lady had since slipped into a coma.
The two of us sat on the edge of her bed and reminisced about the fun we had shared with her over the years. We remembered the stories she often shared about her grandchildren and great grandchildren. (She had a boatload!) We read the Christmas story. We prayed. And we cried.
She passed four hours later.
She was pretty much the matriarch of our neighborhood and we’ll miss her.
It was sad to see this elderly couple’s house, usually decorated for Christmas, remain dark this year. Dark like the thread of sadness we all felt for her husband.
This family is not alone. Many have faced their first Christmas without a loved one this year.
The friend who went with me to the nursing home had lost her own grandmother, AND mom, this year. Yet, even with her heart still tender to the sights of a home, she chose to go.
And I was touched by her courage and selflessness.
I was also touched by the generosity of the neighborhood, who took up a collection to help with expenses.
I was touched by the number of neighbors I saw at the service.
And I was touched by the volunteer who stayed behind at their house, so their family could be together.
Each one unaware that they were blessing more than the family they were reaching out to.
Only God can do that. Only He can take a dark thread in life, surround it with the vibrant colors of selfless giving, and create a beautiful tapestry that blesses all who see it.
I hope you all had a meaningful time with your loved ones over the holiday!
My prayer for the new year, is that I will be a colorful thread in God’s tapestry! Over. And over. Again.