I’m back in my rocking chair by the fire listening to Christmas music. It has been a long interesting day. It started early by driving down to Peachtree City to take dad to the pain clinic. Everything there went well, and I am cautiously optimistic that he will be able to turn the corner and get much better in the next few days. Hopefully what we are doing now will take the place of a lot of the medication that he has been taking, and he can get better quickly. He is looking better, so I am just going to keep praying and believing for healing and health for him as we move forward.
Why is it that I can be having fun enjoying myself being around friends and then with out even taking a step, all of a sudden I am miles away, almost seeing and sensing Julia? I don’t have an answer, and it doesn’t happen often, but it happened tonight, and it has happened before. We had been talking and eating when I had Kathy lead us in Christmas Carols. I know the words to almost everyone that we sang. I enjoy singing them, it reminds me of times gone by. I guess the fact that it does remind me of times gone by that Julia memory was going to be strong. I should have been prepared, but I wasn’t.
All day long, she has been in the back of my mind. I know that she would have been helping Biddie decorate. I still remember decorating last year. She would have been cooking up a grand appetizer of a great desert to share with the group. She was the ultimate hostess. I just did what she told me to do to get ready. So, yes, she had been in the back of my mind all day. But I still wasn’t prepared for what happened when we started singing the Christmas carols. I was really enjoying singing them. Kathy was in the right key for my voice range and I was just singing freely. All of a sudden her presence was so strong it was as if she was in the room right beside be. In fact, I could almost feel my arm drape over her shoulder and then grab her hand. I was still singing loudly and happily, but I was crying at the same time. There was a smile on my face, but tears were rolling down my cheek.
It’s like “bitter sweet”. There were two strong contrasting emotions, yet neither was bitter, but both were sweet in different ways. I so much wanted to feel more of her presence, but I was grateful for what I felt. I didn’t want it to end, yet at the same time it made me so sad because I knew that I would not be able to maintain that, I was really alone. As I looked around the room at all of my friends, all of Julia’s friends it hit me again how much I love her. Yes I said love, not loved. I will always love her. I know that dad told me that I would find room in my heart to love another, and maybe I will.
Wow, I just lost it. I haven’t cried like that in months. I’m much better now. It didn’t last but a minute and now I am fine. In fact I am better than I was. I love Christmas, Julia loved Christmas, it is my favorite time of year. I declare that this is going to be a great Christmas. We are going to have so much fun at Hilton Head. I cant’ wait for all the granddaughters to be together. Yes, we will all probably cry every now and then. Yes, we will definitely miss Julia. But her presence will be there. It will be very strong. We can either embrace it as a gift, or grieve over her loss. I hope that we as a family will be able to embrace her presence as a gift, an Christmas gift to each one of us. Yes there will be some sadness, that is natural, but we have to choose to embrace the gift of her presence, just like I did tonight. That is what she would want, and that is what I am going to give her for Christmas. It’s all I can give her. So, Julia as I move deeper into this special time I give you my gift; the gift of honoring and embracing your presence when I feel you near. I know that you will be near, because you will be wanting to hang out with your girls, all six of them.