Monday, December 25, 2006

Hope is Born Again



I wasn’t going to make a Christmas entry this year.  I’ve been remiss in my Journal entries as it is and in many ways its been tough to capture the holiday spirit, so I’d decided to let things go and try to start fresh again in January.


This past year has been difficult on many levels, and while I enjoyed shopping for special ones in my life, most other aspects of holiday planning were much more chore than delight for the first time in almost as long as I can remember.  So I went to dad’s tonight with more a sense of obligation than anticipation.  The early part of the evening did nothing to dispel my mood – he was difficult and frustrating and I was reminded once again that my role is now so much more that of parent to him than child.  And when we arrived at church for the candlelight service, it seemed the remainder of the evening would only hold more of the same.


But then the carols started and I found my voice, joining in the celebration of the season and allowing myself to be reminded once more of what Christmas is truly about.  And a sense of hope – one missing for too long now – began to creep back in, a warm feeling that was instantly familiar and welcome once more.


Now please do not think that I do not know that my life is blessed – more than many if not most, and far more than I deserve.  There are people in my life who love me, and without whose strength and support I would find it close to impossible to face some days – and for that I am and will be eternally grateful.  Yet there have still been days of self-doubt and darkness, of questioning and of concern for what the future may hold that also take their toll sometimes.


Christmas is always a difficult time of year for me anyway – because it was my mother’s favorite holiday and because therefore most memories have a bittersweet tinge to them.  But tonight the opposite was true.  As the lights dimmed and the candles were lit in the quiet sanctuary, as Silent Night began softly and wafted through the congregation as if borne on the tip of each flickering light, gaining strength from each new flame, the darkness began to slip away.  My voice wavered and the tears began to flow - and hope grew anew.


Late tonight, I walked in the quiet of the moonlight – and my heart was very full.  There was a spring to my step and light in my soul – gifts beyond measure that helped me once again to savor each word shared with those important in my life, to treasure each small gift of kindness and to cherish each star in the sky.


I know that there will be more dark days – they are an inevitable part of life.  But for tonight, hope is born again – as far away as in a distant manger, but also as close as the beating of my heart. And what better way to start another Christmas day?




To those in my life who give reason and purpose to my days – thank you.  To friends and acquaintances – thank you.  To anyone who may happen upon these words – thank you.  No matter how you celebrate, may your holiday season bring hope to your own lives – and may each new candle lit bring fresh light to your soul.  Merry Christmas!


jlocorriere05 said...

Merry Christmas Rob, I'm pleased you found some hope and cheer while in church singing carols. I don't look forward to Christmas any more for various reasons but this year it was brought home to me just how much I have when my best friends husband died on Thursday. We must always count our blessings and give thanks for what we have, we see people worse off than ourselves all around us.  Have a lovely time today and may the new year bring you everything you need.
Jeannette xx

marainey1 said...

Merry Christmas from our house to yours !  I think you've expressed the true meaning of Christmas with your entry.  Hope !  Once more we are kindled with a new hope. Without hope we'd be lost, but because of it each new day is a blessing. Peace to you my friend, Christmas love without end.  'On Ya' - ma

jazmyngrey said...

You have never failed to touch me with your words, and this entry does not do anything less.  Thank you for sharing your tender, thoughtful words and memories with me, with all of us.

midwestvintage said...

Merry Christmas Rob.  What a beautiful post.   Thank you for sharing it today.  Have a blessed day.


emabecmar said...

Merry Christmas Rob. Thank you for the christmas card I received via email. I loved it. Hope today is very special for you. ((((((hugs))))))

madcobug said...

I am glad that you such an uplift in going to the church. You know God never leaves us even when we feel so downtrodden. May God bless you and keep you in those high spirits. Helen

radar446 said...

I'm so glad that you have found some joy in the holidays.  I can relate to many of the things that you have said in this entry.  Christmas doesn't hold much joy for me any more.  I too have lots of less than happy memories and thoughts around this time of year.  However, I do try to find as much joy in the season as I can.


inafrnz247 said...

Thank YOU, Rob.  For sharing your heart and for the gentle reminder that there is always hope, and there is always light ~ if only we choose to see.  

~ Merry Christmas ~

rbrown6172 said...

this is a lovely entry!  i'm so glad you were blessed and regained that peace, joy and hope.  God bless you.  
ps...thanks for the Christmas card via email.  that was very sweet.

mariebm56 said...

Merry Christmas to you too!
Thank you for sharing this entry with us.

mutualaide said...

Rob, a lovely Christmas post and I am so glad to know you rekindled your Christmas spirit and were given renewed hope for the future.

donejustwrite said...

Oh, Rob, I'm behind in my journal reading so just came across this!  I needed to read it when you wrote it...  for some reason I couldn't find the Christmas spirit this year!  I normally enjoy this season so, but it was very routine for me this time.  It wasn't awful, it just wasn't spiritful.  Made me sad...  even Christmas Day I couldn't find my heart.  It was just another day with a long to-do-list.  :(  Hopefully, it's not a new trend.  Glad you found your voice.  This entry really touched me!  

kaydeejay5449 said...

Happy New Year!  I happened to stop by this morning and caught your last two entries.  So glad I did.  It's never too late to read a Christmas entry and to remember the wonder and blessings for that time of year.  Silent Night always makes me cry, too.  The other one that brings tears to me is, "I'll Be Home For Christmas".  Don't know why but I can't listen to either of those with buckets of tears.  Old softie, I guess.
Anyway, God bless you this year.  Having had an experience with my husband's dad this past year, prayers will be with you and with him.
Best wishes,  Kathy

kirkbyj05 said...

I have been touched by reading your entry.  You have a very kind heart and sensitive soul.  Christmas has been and gone now but I wish you a repeat of all that you hope for and cherish about that Season for each and every year to come.  God Bless.