Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Whereon our Savior’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long.
And then, they say, no spirit dare abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.
Christmas Eve. Cold and windy outside; warm and peaceful inside. My thoughts drift to my son, as they always do on holidays and special occasions. But this year, when these thoughts try to take a comfortable seat in my mind, I shoo them out. I’m not interested in any more suffering — I’ve warred with myself long enough.
Tonight, as I light a candle, I pray for my son and his family. I once again pray for help in healing our damaged relationship. I have prayed for this before, many times and in many ways. But our relationship hasn’t healed, not even close. So, tonight I change my prayer:
Dear God, take this sadness, this heartbreak in my family and help us. Hold us all in Your arms and cradle us, for only You can heal us.
I have to believe that there is a Higher Power, Divinity, Unconditional Love and a Supreme Intelligence. I am a skeptic, but at this point in my life I choose to believe that there is order in the universe and a reason why things happen. I have to have faith that love will win in the end, or I will simply go mad.
I am spending a quiet Christmas at home with my husband. I feel the absence of my son and grandchildren, but I’ve gotten used to it. This year, for the first time, when I mailed out the children’s Christmas presents, I felt nothing. I felt no connection, no joy or even kinship. I was mailing out gifts to strangers.
I am committing myself in the New Year to climbing out of the emotional wreckage that estrangement has left in its wake. I am taking serious steps to work through PTSD, depression and heartache. I want to be happy again. It’s time.
On this Christmas Eve, I pray for peace. I pray for estranged parents and grandparents who have forgotten their own goodness and worth. I pray for grandchildren who are being denied the unconditional love of their absent grandparents. And I pray that our grown children open their hearts to us so we may all heal.
Until then, May your heart rest in the beauty of this hallowed and gracious time.