For those of you who have not heard, I have just recently learned of my grandmother’s passing on Monday evening. It is sad news. I’m glad to say that she lived a very full and meaningful life and raised a large family who loved and respected her very much. She will be missed.
This news is increasingly sad because it is one more heartbreak to add to our family that has suffered so much tragedy near the holidays. Both of my grandmothers passed away between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just a few years ago I remember that my maternal grandmother passed away and many of the flowers at her funeral were poinsettias. That plant no longer holds much appeal for me. When I was in college my uncle and his family were involved in a terrible car accident the night before Thanksgiving. My aunt died in the crash and the entire family was very seriously injured. Our turkey and dressing Thanksgiving dinner became the visitation meal to feed all the mourners.
As you can see from this post and from the previous one, I am not used to much joy and cheer during the holiday season. Once again our family will celebrate with one more empty chair at our table, one more gift left unopened. Perhaps there is a lesson in this. Our family has certainly learned that holidays are solemn occasions. There is deeper meaning to these days than overindulgence and excessive materialism. All of us are forced to turn introspective and do serious soul searching. We have learned to value each other. We must focus more on what we have and less on what we want. To celebrate it otherwise would be disrespectful to the memory of those we have lost. I hope one day the light and love of the season will find its way back into our Christmas. Until then, please keep us in your thoughts.