So I kept telling myself!
1 Thessalonians 5:18
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Then there's that old saying, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray"…is so true about right now!
For 2 years we had been looking forward to this year. Finally all the bickering back and forth had calmed down over schedules and such, court ordered or simply worked out visitations between them were agreed on, and this was going to be the 1st year all 7 “Grand's” would be around at the same time, that would allow for a “Family Christmas” on the actual days!
My vision: From the 20th-23rd, cookie baking, gingerbread house making, tree decorating, Christmas caroling, shopping and wrapping, you know the Griswold kind of Family Christmas! Then Christmas Eve, after a day of putting on the finishing touches, we would all go to church, then drive around looking at Christmas light, and visit with friends, before heading home. Down here it’s a big thing to deck your house out, then on Christmas Eve you have friends over and a fire out front while you pass out candy canes. Our friends live on a street that every house is done up and it’s renamed Candy Cane Lane for the holidays. It’s been a tradition for 19 years now.
Having a 3yr old and a 5yr old who still believed in the big guy, meant a visit from him was looking pretty good. A Christmas brunch after opening what he left was the plan. Then preparing for round two of the family gift exchange in the afternoon along with the Christmas feast after that. Children playing with the gifts while the adults chattered and made cheer of the year, you know…a dream, a vision….
Here’s where “Robert Burns” comes in…
First, the passing of my Godfather…
…on the same day my MIL passed 12 years earlier, November 22. To help you understand, this man, not only was my Godfather, but my Uncle, and they lived around the corner from where I grew up. He would become more of a father figure, sharing great advice and comfort through out some really tough years. He set the example of what a man, a husband and a father is all about. He had a fulfilled life of 99 years and I got to be a part of 56 of them. I would see him at least once a year and with each visit, would embrace all the memories he shared. He was able to be with each and every one of us this year throughout the holidays, looking down on the love of a family he had a big part in creating.
With that said, Thanksgiving was still a week away. Fortunately because of the schedules, when one parent gets Christmas, the other gets Thanksgiving. If the family decided to arrange the funeral the week of, I could handle it with no problem since I hadn’t planned on a big Thanksgiving anyhow. My Aunt being the sweetheart she is, decided to wait till after the holiday so not to disrupt other family's plans. OK, no problem!
Then the other shoe drops. One decides to shake up the schedule and IS coming for Thanksgiving. Well the day after that is, so I bought a 22lb’er so to have enough for two days. I shopped and set a table…
While they where here we made some cookies and ornament…
strung popcorn and lights….
Then another shoe dropped!
First reaction, breath in, say a quick prayer, breath out, followed by…”What do you mean?”
Yep, three will not be here as planned for the Christmas Holiday! Dates were discussed but my mind just went blank! Though at times, my mouth wasn’t being pleasant, and just maybe, they all needed to hear it!
Be it the death and/or the visions, but my emotions went everywhere! Now I had more to swallow! Believe me, I truly understand how their lives must be and can imagine the jump rope jumping that goes on, but for me, on this new unknown direction with the new doctor, it scares me that time is not on my side. Memories can’t be planned, they just happen, I know this, but imagine the rambling in my heart of all I want to share with those I love and it had been a while since a road block created a detour.
Reasoning was not an option just minute after hearing the news. Believe me, I GET IT!
At that point I had to withdraw, as I do, silence seems to work for me, while they continue to explain trying to help me understand. Please, just give me some time here! Right then I just needed to enjoy the time we were having, for the next day…
Our Journey through LIFE will hit the road!