Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Today is the day we celebrate God's Gift to the world.
Jesus is the Reason for this Season.

Christmas is a reminder that there is always HOPE!!! God sent His son so that we can have life and have it abundantly. When the world seems to be a dark place focus your eyes on the Light of the World and things won't seem so bad. That is what I am learning this Christmas Season.

There comes a time in each of our lives when we have to look at the mortality of our parents. I lost my dad over 30 years ago. I think of him often. I have lots of wonderful memories of my Daddy's love for me. And I still had my Mom with me. She has lived in our home since September of 2000. I have seen her everyday with the exception of a few vacations we have taken without her. But this Christmas it is different. Her room is empty.

Mother has been declining for a little while. On December 12 she fell in the middle of the night and ended up in the hospital. That was when part of my world changed. A couple of days ago we made the hard decision. Mother won't be coming back to her place in my home. She will be going to a new home. Mother now needs more care than I can give her. She will get the care she needs and deserves. And I will be able to visit her often and enjoy the time I have left with her instead of being stressed and tired and worried about her well being.

As I reflect this Christmas Morning on my life and what this Christmas means to me it is like the picture of my Christmas Tree above. I am in a room where there is darkness and shadows. But there is a thing of beauty that takes over the room. It is filled with hundreds of bright lights that remind me that though there are shadows, there are many wonderful things to be thankful for.
Though I miss my mom being here and am facing the fact that she is no longer the strong woman I remember taking care of me when I was a child, I have many lights to focus on. I will have lots of time to make memories with my mother. We will play games. We will look at old family photos. We will watch movies together. And they will all be good times that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I am so thankful that I have time to make more memories with her.

Today is the start of making those memories. I will pick her up at the Rehab Center and bring her to Michael and Amy's to our family celebration. I will watch her open presents and I will watch her enjoy her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

No one knows what the next year will hold. But I will focus on the lights. I will focus on the bright points in my life. And I will be grateful for every one of them.

I heard this quote on the radio the other day as I was driving to visit Mom.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Gratitude will be the theme of my life as I enter a new stage in my relationship with my mother. Today I move from being CAREGIVER and go back to being DAUGHTER.
And today I am more able to focus on my other roles in life.

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