For my birthday my husband bought me a weekend away at a local spa.  He wanted to surprise me so he picked the dates and the retreat package.  Truthfully I would have NOT booked it in December.  Quite likely the second busiest month for momma’s next to June.  But he did so off we went to Sparkling Hills Resort.

I was going to write about all that happened this weekend, about the sauna’s and how one was like walking through Hell it was that hot!  About the quiet room and the pools and soft music.  But I think my journey there would be different from yours so you’ll have to try out a spa resort if you are into self-reflection.  The resort was beautiful, all crystally, and sparkly.  I admit I am drawn to bling.  My dining room chandelier reflects that.

Crystal FireBut I realized my most reflective moments are spent when I’m outside walking or gardening.  I can reflect for hours on the next landscape project.  The ideas simmer on the back burner of my brain.  Fresh air clears my mind and lungs.

Christmas is but a week away!

I will host a dinner gathering for relatives from my side and on Christmas Day we will go to Wes’ family for the afternoon.  I am most looking forward to Christmas morn, to lay in PJ’s and play with our new stuff till the afternoon.

I understand about sadness at Christmas too.  When something is missing, more precisely someone.

My strategy is to stay busy with projects and shop and focus on other activities.  But some songs haunt.  I hear them and I stop dead in my activity and transport to the winter of ’93,  when I drove my rusty acadian to Sears everyday and pretended to know about carseats and baby blankets to unsuspecting customers.  I slept each night in 4 thick blankets and still felt the Edmonton cold creep up from under the bed.  I jumped every time the phone rang, wondering if this would finally announce her death.  I patronized the dollar theatre and paid with quarters.  Cheap entertainment was better than gazing at the Christmas tree in our living room.

She was dying and I was lost.

Lost in a world of uncertainty and dancing with dates dressed in fear.  Dates of proposal, and dying.

And it is when I am tired and reflective that the songs grab my attention.  I can’t run from the sadness of the past.  In fact that sorrow makes my days now seem wonderful, FULL.  But they are there, those threads.  My life’s blanket contain these colors of grey and dark blue and black.  I feel their scratch, their prick on my skin.

And when I drive alone at night to watch my husband play rec hockey the memories fill me.  When I hear them sing Breath of Heaven at ODE I gasp aloud and hope the dark sanctuary hides my wet teary face.

Breath of Heaven,
Hold me together.
Be forever near me.  
Breath of Heaven.

The season my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer is the Christmas I received my marriage proposal.  Him on bended knee in front of our wood fireplace, hands shaking and sweaty.  My life fractured into joy and sorrow, hope and anger, Love and loneliness.  I was still a teenager.  I leapt into the adult world.

This Christmas is yet another time to create new memories.  I am intentionally celebrating eucharisteo.

And this might be one of my longest posts.