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I cannot explain fully the emotions running through me last night…

Picture a peaceful evening in the living room in front of the fire, my husband and I decorating our Christmas tree while Christmas music plays in the background. My youngest son, now 20, joined us only to fall asleep and nap on the couch beside us.

The lights on the tree are twinkling now, and I wish for the days when my children were young and at home with us every holiday. As we hang up handmade bobbles one by one, I remember how happy they were as we made the holidays special together. We decorated, shopped, drove around the city looking at pretty coloured lights and singing Christmas carols, and on Christmas Eve we prayed together in church.

I remember being able to fix all their problems by holding them tight and kissing them better. They were so innocent, so easy to make happy and so mine to protect, (and I did to the best of my ability). Now they are grown, making lives of their own, with their own mistakes and triumphs along the way (and all I can do is watch and hope that I did enough for them; taught them well enough to help them along their journey through life).

As tears of sadness mixed with tears of joy, I laughed and smiled with my husband as if he knew my thoughts and shared my feelings of longing to recapture years gone by. Time goes by so quickly and things that change are beyond our control. This year our oldest is spending Christmas in her new home 13 hours away, (my sister lives near her). My other son lives 4 hours away, (part by boat and part by land); his job will keep his visit short this year. And even as I think about it the time is coming near that I may have to share even the precious time we have with his girlfriend’s family, as I am sure one day they will be my in-laws.

I think again of Christmases not so long ago, with all our family gathered here, faces that we miss (both living and those no longer here on earth), the times of joy and laughter, and love beyond compare.  My littlest child, now fully grown, I see sleeping like an angel, all his cares and stresses washed away as he peacefully rests after a hard day. Someday soon he will take to life on his own, (though I do not know yet where his life will lead him, I am optimistic that he will be okay as he makes choices and deals with life’s ups and downs, as do we all).

I can no longer keep them close, nor protect them, the only aid I can offer is to pray for what is best, and hope that they remember as fondly as I the times we used to share!

The tree is complete, we now sit together admiring our handiwork and anxiously await the coming of Christmas Day. My husband and I, together and happy to be so in love; I am sure that even when we are old and grey we will sit on our couch together, one wonderful evening in December and admire the decorations, as we wait for the holiday to start (and perhaps the patter of grandchildren come to visit us)!

Written with love… to all those I hold near and dear in my heart forever!