Friday, December 18, 2009

Be of Good Cheer

This year is the second in a row that I will be alone on Christmas Day. Last year I braved the weather and thankfully made it to Vegas for Christmas by myself. Though I was alone, I enjoyed my stay and it kept my mind busy. It wasn't bad.

Again, this year, I will be alone. Circumstances have not made it possible that I get to see my son and new granddaughter on the 25th, so I'm planning once again for day alone. I don't have room in my apartment for a Christmas tree, so there are no decorations except for some tinsel and lights across my fireplace mantel.

When Christmas morning arrives, there will be no husband next to me in bed to wake up with, and no pitter-patter of anxious little feet that can't wait for the rising of the morning sun. There will be no ripping of wrapping paper off presents, or squeals of joy or moans of disappointments filling my apartment over given gifts. Dinner time will arrive, and my dining table will be empty and no aroma of turkey will fill the air. Probably the only thing I'll hear is the buzzer from the microwave telling me my frozen dinner is done.

It's times like these I often don't think people who have it all realize how blessed they really are. I hear so many complain about the holidays and all that comes with it - family, shopping, dinners, and stress - while I, who have none of it, look at wonderment and envy at their lives.

What will I do with myself? I guess Christmas eve I will go to church and enjoy the beauty of Christmas in a gorgeous building with lighted candles. I'll watch families sitting together as they sing Christmas carols. I'll probably feel a pang of loneliness, like I usually do, struggling with the moment alone.

I am reminded, however, that Christmas is a time to be of good cheer, and I refuse to feel sorry for myself. After all, that is what Christmas is all about!

"Behold! I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord."

So come Christmas morning when the world around me is enjoying time with family and those they love, I'll get up like I do every day. I'll wander around my 625 sq ft apartment with coffee in hand, let the dog out, check the weather, and eventually get dressed for the day. Perhaps I'll go to the show later on, write a few chapters, call my brother in Michigan, wait for my son to call, and then remember in the silence of my apartment that I'm not really alone.

Above all, I will remind myself to be of good cheer and reflect on the reason for the season that it's not about me and my situation - it's about Jesus.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Is it really better?

Alfred Lord Tennyson's famous words. Is it really better? Boy that's a loaded question!

Just about every single can ponder this statement. Perhaps you have never married, but lost that one person you thought was the love of your life or your perfect soul mate. Was it better to have loved and lost them, than never knowing or loving them at all?

Perhaps you are divorced and dealing with the pain of a broken marriage. You once loved that person deeply, or you wouldn't have married them! Now, that love is lost. Would it have been better to have loved and lost than never having loved them at all?

Perhaps you have lost a spouse through death. The pain must be horrendous and the loss great. The question remains for you as well, is it better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all?

Frankly, I think it's better to have loved in our lives, rather than never knowing love with a certain individual. What would life be like if we never had the opportunity or blessed experience of loving another? I think it's dreadful actually.

Funny, the thought came to me the other day while sitting in my green recliner watching a couple kiss on TV that were in love. It's been SO long since I've felt those emotions for another human being - a man to love. It's a huge void in my life and an emotion I terribly miss.

Of course with each state of affairs comes pain. It's painful to love and lose. A broken heart is undoubtedly the worst emotional pain we suffer as human beings - at least it's been for me.

Yet there is another type of pain - it's the type of pain of never having loved at all! Loneliness and being unloved is just as horrible on many levels.

So I ask my readers this question - is it better to have loved and lost than never having loved at all? Let me know your thoughts. I'm curious.