Recently I posted a blog on my memories of my favorite Christmas gift ever. After posting that I have found myself awake in the middle of the night thinking of other Christmas memories. Seems this first post has now led to more.
In my second post I shared how my future husband proposed to me on Christmas Day 1968. We had thirteen wonderful years together and were blessed with two beautiful daughters.
One of the memories that came to me in the middle of the night was a Christmas that was lonely and difficult. In March of 1982 my husband (whose proposal I wrote about in a previous post) was killed in an accident.
This was the first Christmas my young daughters and I spent without him. Although it has been 36 years since that Christmas I can close my eyes and still feel the pain, the deep unspeakable sense of being alone.
But along with these sad thoughts comes one that makes me smile.
That year a friend had given my youngest daughter a book for Christmas that brought us some laughs. Called the “Ugly Joke Book,” it had the usual jokes like:
- Beauty is only skin deep …but ugly goes all the way to the bone!
- I was such an ugly kid. When I played in the sandbox the cat kept covering me up.
- You know you’re ugly when it comes to a group picture and they hand you the camera.
In this day of PC I suppose these jokes would not be appropriate to many. That Christmas night, seeing the sad faces of my little girls, I was determined to not let their Christmas night end in terrible sadness. Out came the book. I had us all get in our pajamas, climb into bed and read the jokes. Some of the jokes were funny, others not so much. But I laughed at each one as if it was the funniest thing in the world. After reading the book and staying up way past their bed time, I laid with them asleep in my arms and thanked God that in the midst of sorrow, if we look for it, we can also find joy.
We had spent Christmas Eve with our extended family. We were made so sad because during the entire day no one said anything about our husband/father. It was as if he had never existed; as if his absence was of no importance to anyone. Before returning home, I expressed my hurt to my older sister.
I think I made her cry as she explained they had all agreed not to mention his name because they were afraid of causing us pain. They thought they were doing the kind thing. Sadly they had not.
So – if you have family or friends who have lost a loved one this year – or really any time in the past – don’t be afraid to mention them. Say how you miss them. Share memories you have of them.
God has blessed us and He brought a good man into our lives a few years after this Christmas and my daughters have married and have a family. Our Christmas this year will not be lonely and we are happy.
But we will always remember this wonderful man that made that Christmas one to remember. And in the midst of our celebration, our thoughts will remember dear, dear Lonnie Lott.