I met ‘J’ last night.  I walked into “his” house humming the song,
Silent Night, Holy night, All is calm, All is bright.”  Wes opened the big front door and we walked into the spacious dining area.  The tree was decorated with paper angels that wishes and memories were written on.  He made me a cup of hot chocolate and introduced me to his co-workers.  Only 3 staff on at night, while everyone sleeps peacefully in their bed, travelling nearer to heaven.

We headed down the hall where I met ‘J’ (privacy name).  Wes speaks loudly into the room as I follow. “You okay J?  this here is Wanda who I was telling you about earlier.  She’s from Neilburg remember?”  I shake his hand and smile at the old soul with a twinkle in his eye.  “Oh, yes he says, we played ball against Neilburg at the Saskatoon Exhibition.  Nice to meet you, have a chocolate.”

There is more small talk and Wes tucks him in and lowers the bed.  Shuts the lights off, and we say goodnight heading out.  Quietly closing the door, leaving wide a crack of light.

Coffee time is over and I say good night to the staff and grab my purse to go.  My thoughts hide from the reason why patients are here.  I think about them as guests.  Guests in this house of peace.  In this world so big but so small that everyone is connected.  We are all related by story in some way.

 It is our stories that link us, that gives us courage when we feel we are alone.

I grew up in a little town on the prairies.  A nowhere town.  One you could miss if you blinked, traveling fast on the highway.  A town that played softball in the ’40’s and gave city teams a run for their money.  An inconsequential fact to locals but a tiny invisible thread between J and I.

The winter solstice is passing and I have gone deep into the night.  Hibernating and eating.  (ugh, my jeans are getting tighter) My self has hidden within the thoughts and memories of past, but quietly being in the present.  This is not depression but a slow rhythm within.  There is nothing I have want for this Christmas.  My health, my family all good.

Just ponderings of my dark self here.  I actually ache with thankfulness.  My God is good to me giving me both the darkness and light to remember.

Only 2 days ’til Christmas.  Light the candles and share a story, a gift to unwrap with each other.