December 12, 2022
“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” ~Colossians 3:12
A friend sent me an email on Saturday wondering how I am doing with grief in this Christmas season. It was a good question. I catch myself looking at cards and wishing I could buy ones for my sisters. I find myself noticing gifts that I’d love to buy three of, one for each of us Finday girls, something each of us did for Christmas. Something funny happens, and I want to pick up the phone and tell them all about it.
So yes, this season evokes longing, not only for the return of Christ, but also for those who’ve gone before me into eternity.
The women in our family going back to my grandmother (Gram) have a special place in our hearts for cardinals. Gram’s Christmas cards always had cardinals on them. After she died, mom, my sisters, and I would see a cardinal and say, “Look! There’s Gram.” After our mom died a cardinal sighting was welcomed with “Look! There’s Gram. There’s Josie (our nickname for mom). With my sisters’ passings, I’d added their names to the ritual.
I saved two articles of clothing that were my sister Carol’s, a nightgown that is way too large but soft and cuddly, and a black cardigan sweater with three cardinals on it. I’ve had the sweater tucked away in a trunk, waiting for the right time to wear it. That time was Saturday, for a Christmas gathering. I felt like I was clothing myself with love and memories, and an extra measure of compassion and kindness for myself in this season. I suspect that Gram, Mom. Carol, and Jane approve. Same for Jesus. ~ Anne