December 1, 2014
Settling into the holiday season is always an exciting time of the year. The long desired colder temperatures that we longed for during the sweltering summer set in, the smell of Christmas trees and peppermint sifts through the air, and the holiday commercials dance on television screens. It's a time of magic for most and a time of nostalgia for all.
Nostalgia comes flooding into our lives in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it's invited, and other times it comes knocking without our consent. Sometimes it leaves a warm feeling in our hearts and other times, without meaning to, it leaves a residue of regret. But almost always it leaves us feeling reflective, which I believe is a great thing.
Two years ago today, sweet Richard woke up with a complaint of back pain. The Monday after Thanksgiving marked the beginning of pain that we had assumed had been from lifting too much weight in the gym, but would turn into a six week battle that would end in death due to leukemia. When one sits back and looks at that time, really sits back and puts it into perspective, it's hard to even try to remember what was going through our heads. Because now all we can see is the hindsight. All we can see now is what we couldn't see then. Dear life, why are you so ironic?
I sit back today and marinate on what that time was like. How frustration grew as the pain wouldn't cease and how it never stayed in the same place but nestled itself in different corners of his back. How it was the first day of a tiring 40 ahead with few answers and many tears.
So as nostalgia for past Christmas holidays creeps into my mind I can't help but look back on the not so fuzzy times of this season. But it doesn't leave me feeling sad or sorrowful. Just reflective. Reflective of that beautiful, painful season of my life and how it brought me closer to God. Reflective of how much life has changed since then. Reflective of how lucky I was to have such a deep love in my life even if for a short period of time, and all of the friendships and relationships have been formed since then. It's good to sit and reflect.
Whatever feelings your nostalgia may be bringing along with it, I pray that you will be able to find a time during this season of magic to sit and reflect. To face it head on, no matter how ugly it may be. Don't dwell, but acknowledge and take time to focus on how far you've come, or what you've learned and then move forward. Every moment is part of a season and every season has a reason. Don't miss it.