The sweet smell of cedar wafts through the house as the colorful twinkling lights adorn the simple Christmas tree. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care and the house gives evidence of the season of Christmas with carefully wrapped presents, festive decorations, and a bright cackling fire burning in the fireplace. It is Christmas morn and everyone is feeling merry! Right?
Wrong!!! It's 6:30 in the morning and Sylvia has been up since 1:30a.m. We struggled to keep her awake yesterday evening and finally gave in at 7:30 p.m. and put her to bed. And as if on cue, as soon as we left the room, Sylvia was bright eyed and bushytailed and not very happy about being in bed. After several rounds of pulling off the covers, taking off the clothes, yelling and crying, I finally got her up and put her in her wheelchair at 9:00 p.m. I left her in her room because, I'll admit, I was aggravated! At some point, Rich went and sat with his mom and around 11:00p.m. when everything was strangely quiet, I peeked in Sylvia's room and Rich was asleep in a chair by his mom, holding her hand, and Sylvia still had her eyes opened but was caught between awake and asleep. I put her to bed and she went to sleep immediately.....until 1:30 a.m. I toileted her at that time and put her back in bed hoping she would go back to sleep. And that's when the covers on/covers off dance began again! It is also when the clothes off/clothes on dance began....again! It is also when the crying, yelling, and hollering began.....again! I was determined not to get her out of bed but finally gave in at 6:30 a.m. when it was evident that she was NOT going to go to sleep. AND....I am in a cheerful, festive Christmas spirit.....NOT! It is Christmas morning and there is not one evidence in our house to show that we are celebrating Christmas. There are no decorations, no Christmas tree, not one present, and no bright cackling fire burning in the fireplace. There's no family at the house and no one expected. It doesn't feel like Christmas at all and I am NOT happy! I was OK not putting up a Christmas tree this year. To be honest, I couldn't fathom adding another big item in the house since we have added two geriatric recliners, two wheelchairs, a shower chair, potty chair, hospital bed, etc. With all this equipment taking up space, it was difficult to think about adding another item. So I opted out of the Christmas tree. And I didn't feel like searching in the attic for our Nativity set to display in the house. Rich and I cannot go anywhere together, and to be honest, between caring for Sylvia and Richard, Sr., we just haven't been able to go Christmas shopping or anything else. Sometimes, I think we're too wore out by the end of the day to do anything but chill. And still, I was OK with it all. It's just our season of life. ......UNTIL this morning! There is something about being sleep deprived when it is not your choice that brings on the crankiness. And so, it's 6:30 in the morning and Sylvia is crying, she is fighting me, she needs a bath, she's hungry, and I'm cranky! So when I'm cranky, I just don't talk to her. She's carrying on and I'm quiet. I want to cry but it's best to just be quiet and do what I have to do. And inside, I am one giant BAH HUMBUG!!! And then..............it happened.
All of sudden, Sylvia stops hollering and crying and starts singing, "Silent Night, Holy Night, All is calm....." that's all she can sing. It's all she can put together in her jumbled, confused mind. Then she starts over, "Silent Night, Holy Night." She doesn't know it's Christmas. How can she? We haven't told her, not that she would understand or remember. I haven't played one Christmas carol in the house this year. But there it was. My Christmas hug from God. Oh how much God must love me to remind me this day is not about a tree or decorations or presents or how cranky I am. It's about remembering a Silent Night over 2,000 years ago that God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, a Holy infant so tender and mild, to be born into this old sinful world to make a way for me (and you!) to have eternal life in Heaven.
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Thank you God for showing me your love today on this Christmas morn, December 25, 2013. Thank you God for using Sylvia to do it. Thank you for the opportunity You gave me to celebrate Christmas with Rich's parents in a simple and quiet way. But most of all, thank you God for the GIFT of your Son, Jesus! The Christ in CHRISTmas.
Merry Christmas family and friends. God loves you!