Deep in the night on Christmas eve

I had grand ideas to go back and organize my thoughts, notes and memories into blog entries that would be chronological with the intent to show any progression that might have been there. I’ve been meaning to upload something since February but haven’t gone back even to that point. Instead, I’ll simply publish them as I re-finish them. -steve

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_our_angel

Twas the morning of Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring but my iTunes and mouse. I wrote the following thoughts, blurred by tears, in the first hours of Christmas morning after attending and singing at the midnight mass. Finding the Christmas spirit and cheer was difficult our first Christmas after losing Anna.

Christmas wasn’t right this year. I couldn’t get into the mood or find that merry groove. Something weighed on me … especially today. “They” say that holidays are the hardest times but I was feeling good about Anna being in heaven, a better, perfect place. I thought I would be ok. Today I overreacted and yelled at Nora. I spoke harshly to some strangers who were talking during church. I didn’t want anything to do with the material side of christmas. Gifts were purchased and wrapped but without the joy of that Christmas should bring. Yes, I miss my baby and I found a little blackness in my heart. I can feel the tears inside me waiting for the right time to surface. I don’t like it but the time hasn’t been right to cry. I’m planning Anna’s concert or I have to sing soon or something. Music moves me more than anything … it always has. It could simply be an amazing moment singing a masterwork or being moved by a text, a performance or a memory. Music is powerful, delivering any emotion. More recently it could be “Abide with Me” or another hymn or anthem … especially those we sang at Anna’s funeral or interment that will suddenly close the throat and squeeze the tears suddenly and unexpectedly. We miss her. I miss her. And some music will always be, and others music will become, associated with her. 

_Jenns_childhood_angelWell, tonight I found Christmas in a song I had the privilege to sing at church. The church was packed and I was worried about my cold and the making sure I had the right notes and whatever. In the moments before I sang I decided to “just sing the song” … not focusing on vocal technique or “breathing in the right places.” So I sang it. And it went OK and I felt a peace come over me as we all shared that moment in the darkness of Christmas eve. And as I sang the refrain each time … Christmas finally came to me. Not in the form of MY child but as the child in Bethlehem. “Oh come let us adore Him.” I was so focused on my loss, on MY baby that I didn’t leave room in the inn for the baby in the manger, who came to redeem us all. That babe who was born only to die so that he could welcome our Anna to heaven, with the heavenly host–praising God with song. Oh come let us adore him. Just imagine that heavenly host appearing to the shepherds. Imagine them now … singing still … only now he’s not in swaddling clothes but instead triumphantly holding my Anna as they look down on our Christmas celebration. Oh Little Town of Bethlehem… Joy to the World … Hark the Herald Angels Sing … Oh Come Let Us Adore Him. Oh come let us adore him–Christ the Lord. It’s not the presents that make it Christmas it’s the chance at new birth. A time of new beginning as we remember a gift given that inspires us to decorate our homes, businesses and towns and to spread cheer with a smile or a gift.

Christmas to me is a tree with lights, the people that you love and some Christmas cheer shared with friends and strangers alike. Usually it only takes a few Christmas songs to fill me with Christmas cheer. This year it came quietly through a song deep in the night on Christmas eve.

BlurryTree

6 comments.

  1. Your words, as Jenn’s have, bring tears of joy, sadness, and comfort to the world, especially those of us who had the priviledge to know Anna. We love you guys.

  2. Memories are timeless. And experiencing your writing doesn’t need to happen on a calendar. It’s so good to share your experiences with your friends and loved ones at any time. Love to all of you.

  3. Beautifully articulated Steve. Thank you for sharing that. I’m sure Anna was singing along with you on Christmas Eve. And I hope you continue to find that your gift of music helps to lead you through the process of grief, the feeling, the healing, the finding of new joy, and the holding on to beautiful memories. God Bless.

  4. Well said buddy. A Law/Gospel sermon if ever I heard one.

    I really appreciate your words.

    Pastor Rob

  5. Steve,
    Thank you for sharing a most touching and loving expression of a father who has lost, for a time, the sweetest gift from God, baby Anna. You will always miss her, but in time the pain will diminish, though never entirely. She will always reside in your heart as pure innocence and love.
    Gerard

  6. Steve,
    It has been a while since the good old singing days in high school. I too believe music is such a wonderful way to deliver emotions. Your blog brought me to tears as a mother of three and couldn’t possibly begin to imagine your loss. You should be comended for your strength and your ability to share your raw emotions in order to help others truly be thankful for their blessings and to be our very best in Anna’s memory. Sounds like as much as Anna was a blessing to you, you my friend and your wife were an absolute blessing to her. I have bookmarked this site so that I will reread your post next Christmas. For it reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas. God Bless you and your family.

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