Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Last evening we lit a Blue Candle

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In Memory of Paxton Michael Bell

Last evening we lit a Blue Candle
Merry Christmas and many blessings with that wish for you and the ones that you love!

Well this is another Christmas morning, my 68th, and about the 65th that I remember.  And oh so many memories off all of them.  I know I could write a book of the variety of Christmas mornings that I have experienced. Each one is different.

For the past 45 years, each one of the mornings has involved Alida and me as a family.  For 5 years before that she was in every one of my Christmases as well – but each time then she came from her house – not mine.  We dated for 5 years before becoming a family.

For 44 years we have had kids in our Christmas morning setting and Christmas Day. The first half of that time they were our kids… then our daughters brought along two other kids that they eventually married.  Then 17 years ago the first grandchild arrived and it has never been the same again.  Most everything we do is about our grandkids now!!!

But with all of this taking place so regularly and for so many years, it is not the same for me now.  I have entered a new stage in my life where different friends of mine have lost loved ones in this past year or so. The weight of this loss plays heavily on my mind this morning when I woke up.

Yes there is still the tingle of excitement with the grandkids, but there are many other thoughts that temper that excitement now.

This past year my nephew Zach and his wife Rebecca were waiting with great excitement for the birth of their first baby.  The baby made it known that he was about to arrive and away he came with the flurry that all new babies have.  But something was terribly wrong and Baby Paxton died a few days after his delivery.

In dealing with this grief, and because we are all so far away from each other, last evening when we came together as a family for our celebration on Christmas Eve, there was a Blue Candle lit in the middle of the table.  My daughter led us with the thought for her cousin’s baby.  Almost all the families connected with Zach and Rebecca had a candle burning either last evening or today sometime.

The Blue Candle at Christmas was Zach and Rebecca’s very creative way to remember their little boy.  I don’t doubt that many of us will keep this tradition for years to come as we think of Baby Paxton.  A candle company that Zach and Rebecca know have now started manufacturing blue candles for this purpose.

That is our family’s grief.  But there are many others that have faced the same loss as we did. Their dad died, their grandpa is gone, and maybe even grandma is no longer there.  Christmas can bring along a flood of memories when that one individual touched everyone’s life and the impact left behind was huge.

Christmas is about memories – good and sometimes even painful with the loss of a loved one.

My mom is facing her 25th Christmas without my husband Clifford, my dad. I gulp a little just thinking of that fact… dad is no longer here but his memories are. And when our first grandson comes into the room this morning as a strong and strapping 17 year old young man he bears the name “Clifford” – to carry on with the name and tradition.

Christmas now is about my many memories. It is also a mixture of some very wonderful things along with the weight of great sadness.  And I love each part. The bad stuff comes with the good… and we say a big ‘Thank You’ to the Lord for every part!

And while I am at it… “Thank you Lord for giving us Jesus.”
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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