Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas tears

It is a joyous time of year. Decorations, sparkling lights, holiday music and concerts, gifts, and cookies.

But tears are shed at Christmastime, too.
We are not spared from them, even in this joyous season.

We lost our darling sister-in-law, Mavis,
very suddenly last week. Unplanned. Not our timing at all. And perhaps not hers.

There were things to do, and time was running out. Cards had been sent; we received ours a week ago. But Christmas gifts had not yet been given; some were still unwrapped, and dinner needed to be planned.

But in her typical style and in her mind, there was always plenty of time for enjoying, and not wasting, every moment of life.

Taking time out for a movie with a good friend, she laughed and enjoyed the evening with her usual flair. Her Christmas to-do list would wait.

She left a half-cup of coffee on the table as she rushed out the door. And there by the table, and the half-cup of coffee, lay her devotional book, speaking to her of knowing peace in what lay ahead, of good things to come, all waiting for her.

Her to-do list won't be checked off because God had another plan for her. She not only left it behind, she considered it undeserving of any attention at all when God called.

It was the most wonderful Christmas gift she could receive, to be invited to join Him in Heaven on that night. She willingly took His hand. I am sure she lit up the sky, and I can clearly hear that special laugh as she takes in every moment of the joy that is hers now.

Though she didn't write this, and the author is unknown, she could have. It sounds just like her.
Tis Christmas in Heaven, what a beautiful sight.
It's my first one here; everything is all right.
I've met all our dear ones who preceded us here.
The reunion was lovely, an event full of cheer.

I think of you all that I left behind,
And pray that your Christmas is as blessed as mine.
Please don't shed tears for my soul is at rest.
Just love one another, live life to the best!

Yes, it's Christmas in Heaven, so I've heard them say.
Yet, Christmas in Heaven happens every day.
We said good-bye to Mavis today with a beautiful service, perfectly fitting for her in its style and elegance. We celebrated the life she lived, and the gifts she left us by simply being such a special part of our lives.

We shed tears, and it's okay. It is still a joyous season. The birth of the Christ Child, and our rebirth in Heaven, is great cause for celebration.

A joyous Christmas is wished for you!