Gifts for Christmas

Recently, this poem, written for Russ’s prayer service 10 years ago by a dear friend, came to mind and I had to read it again. I wanted to share it with my readers and hadn’t put it up. After hearing the homily at mass on Sunday, once again I was reminded of how each of us can be a gift this Christmas season, not only now, but throughout the entire year. Please enjoy the following poem, “Gifts”, and think about its meaning.

By James W. Hermann

Let us be gifts to one another
This Christmas season
Not the kind under the tree
Not the kind that is a surprise waiting inside wrapped packages.
Not something we shake before opening to speculate the contents
Not something we wish for from Santa.
Or something that comes from a retail store.
Let us not be a fad, or a gadget or a something that someone had to stand in line for
Or worst of all something that was returned the next day

Let us Be, Let us BE.
Let us be the kind of gift that comes from our heart
That comes from our time
That comes from our soul
That comes from our strength
Let us be the gift of ourselves for those who need us.

Let us be Russ’ kind heart
Lets us turn to Faith
Let us be his humility
Let us be his quirky jokes
Let us be unassuming and gentle
Let’s us be like Russ and be everything we can be without asking for anything in return

Let us be what Russ was to us – Let us BE that for each other

Copyright 2008, 2014

Today, I made the bed…

Today, I made the bed…

What may seem insignificant to some represents something bigger to another.

Today, I made the bed. Exactly six years ago today, my husband made the bed that morning. I didn’t sleep in the bed for two months. Not doing so allowed me to hold a piece of him because you see he passed away that morning.

Today, I balanced the checkbook. Balancing the checkbook and keeping track of that account became my job. I always did it and tracked down the missing check or two. I had stopped this. Sure, I knew the day-to-day after all there’s online banking. However, this morning I made sure the numbers were correct and then wrote a contribution check for church and listed the balance.

Today, I changed the plan. My original plan today started with going to church, visiting at the cemetery and arriving home in time for the start of the Packers game. That’s until I received a text from a good friend asking to get together to catch up. I replied sure. We met up after church for hot chocolate, a pastry, and conversation before I headed to the cemetery. I missed the first quarter of the game and that’s OK.

Today, I visited the cemetery. This isn’t unusual for me to do on special days or just because. Today while there, I wrote a bit inspired by God and influenced by my faith for God takes care of us no matter what’s happening in our lives.

Today, I mailed the Christmas cards. This isn’t unusual or something new, but the time frame changed this year from years past. I’ve been good about sending them out early, but this year life got in the way. I realized it’s the same weekend six years ago that we sent out Christmas cards containing our wedding photo. Most everyone received those cards on Monday, the day after my husband passed away; a bittersweet photo.

Today, I heard a siren. The siren stopped on the next block to the south. Six years ago, the sirens stopped at our house. They left with a physical body whose heart stopped beating and his lungs stopped breathing as a result of asphyxiation. There’s nothing anyone could have done.

Today, I watched a movie. Not just any movie, but a special one, The Muppet Christmas Carol. This movie holds a special place in my heart because during this movie, Russ changed the words of the song, “When Love is Gone” to when love is found and then told me that he loves me (less than two months into our relationship and yet my heart knew that I loved him at two weeks). I shed a few tears during the movie and even if parts of it weren’t special, I’d still shed tears. The night continues with a movie he became attached to and to the song, “Hot Chocolate”. It’s time to board The Polar Express.

All this and more, all because

Today, I made the bed.