Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Christmas 2022

We're here, we're home. 

Home for the holidays (mostly).

I feel like I missed December, pretty much did.  

We put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving (of course!) and were admitted the next Wednesday, only five days later.

Came home on the 21st, so just 4 days before Christmas. 

Yep, missed most of that.  Missed making cinnamon roll bread for teachers and neighbors.  Missed the nightly advent stories and songs.  Missed the music and church services. 

But we didn't miss Aaron.  He's here.  Another Christmas with him here with us.  

As I walked the halls at Primary's, I looked around at those who were also there. The ones clinging to hope, the ones who were trying to find hope.  And the ones for whom hope was fading. 

It's a bittersweet experience being at the hospital during the holidays.  Staff know it's hard and they try to empathize.  Community rallies and donations literally pour in:  stuffed animals, blankets, toys, meals.  But still, you're there, where you'd rather not be.  At the same time, you're there with your child, who is still living, when many are not. 

I sat with a family as they lost a child.  My own frustrations and worries faded as I held Mom. I don't think I said much.  What could be said? Nothing would make it better.  My own heart ached so much for them.  

Aaron came home with me. Their child did not go home with them. 

Christmas here was a bit different.  We got up and had breakfast, and then Jonny and Avanlee called with Elend from Germany where they were enjoying Christmas. After that, it was time for those going to church to get ready.  When they got home, Andrew called from Arizona.  I treasure these video connections.  It makes missing them here a bit easier.  Then, finally, we got to the presents.  In the past, breakfast has promptly been followed by presents, and waiting until 7:00 has been torture for me.  My husband kept trying to figure out what had been done with his wife and who I was in her place.  But this year, this year I wanted to savor the experiences, and it was beautiful.  Even sweet three-year-old Linnaea was so incredibly patient and engaged, more so than I think I was when I was ten times her age.

As I've contemplated Christmas this year, I'm drawn back to the first Christmas.  There weren't a lot of lights and clamor and presents.  There certainly weren't treats and parties. I think of Mary holding sweet Jesus.  She knew, and yet she didn't know.  She couldn't have.  He was still with her, tiny, helpless, in her arms.  She was warned by Simeon that it would be as if a sword through her own soul.  Yet, she didn't falter. She loved and she taught, protected and served. Her gentle soul sought God's will for His son.  

So I guess, in the true spirit of Christmas, we didn't miss anything. We have family and love and everything we need. Aaron is (very slowly) starting to improve.  He's still tired, oh so very tired. His feedings are progressing much slower than I'd like them to. He's still fevering, but it's low grade (100.4-100.9).  He has an eye appointment tomorrow morning to check on the infection that has plagued him for several months now but flared even more during our most recent stay.  It's hard for him right now. I am hopeful that things will improve and his spunky spirit will return. 

But in the end, regardless, he is ours. Our son. And we've had another year where Tiny Tim's crutch is still needed, still used, still loved.  God bless us, every one. 

"...It might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, 
who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see." 
— Bob Cratchit

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