A First Christmas in Heaven
I am not a religious person, but I am deeply spiritual. I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but this morning a slight shift in my thinking has helped me to feel more at peace this holiday. Dan and I were talking about Mom not being with us for Christmas for the first time, when out of the blue, “This is Mom’s first Christmas in Heaven” popped out of my mouth…I don’t know where from. I hadn’t been thinking that way at all. Instead, I had focused on how sad I was, how I would miss her sparkling Christmas spirit. Me, me, me. Those words, however, reminded me that this isn’t about me.
The thought of my mother being in Heaven for Christmas brings a smile to my face. I don’t know what Heaven is, but I imagine it to be whatever we need it to be. I can see my mother singing carols with the Angels at the top of her voice, adding in the requisite “Ooh-wee!” and “Oh, Lawsy!” at the appropriate places. She is dressed in red with Christmasy earrings and a colorful pin on her blouse. Her hair is just so, with a pretty barrette holding it back from her face. She is laughing and telling stories about all of the magic she pulled off in each of her Christmases on Earth. Her stories make the Angels giggle as they all sip on large Sonic chocolate milkshakes.
Most importantly, she is not hurting. At all. She no longer has to painfully climb the stairs to get to celebrate in our home, paying for it with severe pain for days afterward. She is free to polka and do the ‘Big Apple’ to her heart’s content. She doesn’t have to miss being with her parents, her sisters, her brother, her cousins, her many friends, her son, her daughter….the many loved ones who went on before her. She is in their arms now, all of her ailments magically gone. No more worries, no more fears.
Here’s the best part- she’s still here, too. She is in the magical lights of the Christmas tree, in each of the snowmen I see. She is in the warmth and joy of our home, in the love we share. She is here when we sing her favorite carols, and wraps her arms around us as we bow our heads to give thanks. She is free, gloriously free to soar as she never has before. And so, my sweet Heavy D, I look forward to spending yet another magical Christmas morning with you tomorrow, and I bet as I awake in the wee hours, I will hear you call “Christmas gift!”, your giggles echoing in my heart…and I will smile.