December 24th is upon us and we are here in Texas to be with Maurice’s mom(Mamy) and sister to celebrate Christmas. This was not exactly the Christmas we had anticipated. We had purchased our tickets over 6 months ago to come to Texas to celebrate Maurice’s dad’s 88th birthday. We had plans to celebrate his birthday at their favorite restaurant and to spend some quality time together. However, his father(Papy) did not quite make it to 88 as God called him home in August.
So today is bittersweet. Though Papy is not with us, we will still go to their favorite restaurant this evening to celebrate his life. We will attend church services with his mom with a sense of sadness and loss, but we will also be rejoicing in the time together we did have here on earth.
For many of us the Christmas holiday can be filled with sadness and loss, making the day harder to navigate. Difficult to find the new normal of how to celebrate while still grieving.
I remember the previous holidays and times spent together with Papy. The joy of taking cruises together as a family, going to the art auctions, playing bingo and sipping champagne. Enjoying time together listening to stories of his life growing up, watching him spend time with his grandchildren. Today, I fondly remember the love in Papy’s eyes for the love of his life, Mamy. They had such a full life together, with so many adventures. Together, they had a zest for living that was amazing and they had the blessing of traveling the world together. Together they raised 4 amazing children who in turn have followed their parents example in raising their own amazing children.
Today, as I remember Papy, I remember his love for life. Always excited to see what adventure could be around the corner, He couldn’t wait to experience the next culture, the next trip, or to experience a day with his grandchildren. He had a knack for patiently listening to the kids try to share their day when he’d visit and he loved to simply sit together to listen to what was going on in our lives.
We will miss him today, his smile, his laughter, the so many ways his eyes would light up with joy when we were together. Though we will miss him here on earth, we look forward to the day when we will see him again. And today, as I think of the loss of my own mom, I can actually imagine Papy and my mom together enjoying what I imagine to be the festivities in heaven as we on earth celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)