As I sit tonight enjoying the last few hours of Christmas this year I am left with a feeling of gratitude and sadness. The holiday season always feels so rushed and sometime I let that get the better of me, but tonight with my family all tucked in their beds asleep I get to take a quiet moment to think back on this last year.
It has been a year of turmoil and wonder. Of course some of the turmoil was created by Richard because for some reason his being around seems to make everything harder. So my first thought is how grateful I am that he is far away in another country. I realize this might sound vindictive and mean, but really when he is gone everything calms down.
My next thought is of my two younger brothers. One was married this year to a wonderful woman. They seem to be so happy and he has waited such a long time to finally meet the right person that I would feel so ungrateful not to mention this wonderful event tonight. They have been married a little over four months and the newlywed glow still gleams brightly off both of them. The other is far away in another country and I am missing him tonight. He called for Christmas and it was so good to hear from him, but it left me feeling sad that he is not here sharing Christmas with us.
Another grateful thought is for my sister's divorce. It finally happened this week after a year and a half of struggling through it. The only sad part is that nothing has been settled. Richard filed for bifurcation so that if he died while overseas my sister didn't have any rights to make any of the final arrangements. They still have to go to court and battle everything else out, but at least my sister is free to move on with her life. With all the turmoil surrounding this situation I expected a big bang at the end, but it happened quietly without much fanfare. I am sure this will not be the case when they go to court.
One thing that has left me feeling sad and happy at the same time is that my two older boys came to me a few days ago to let me know that they knew the truth about Santa. I can't say I was disappointed that they knew the truth, but it did make me a bit sad that they are growing up so fast. I worried that this knowledge was going to make their Christmas experience less exciting, but that wasn't the case at all. They were still excited to open their presents and put on a great show to keep the spirit alive for my younger two children. In the end I feel them knowing was a blessing for me because I felt I didn't have to lie, or pretend if you will, and still be able to fully enjoy Christmas day. They knew who the gifts came from and they were so great to thank their father and me all day for the wonderful presents without taking the excitement of Santa away from my younger two. (I may not push Santa on my children, but I won't ruin it for them if they want to believe.)
My finally thoughts of the night are on the little baby boy who's birth we are celebrating tonight. A baby who would grow into a man and bring a message of joy and happiness to the world. I am most grateful for my Savior and for the message of hope and of love he shares with us, but most of all the message of having an eternal family.
So to end this entry I want to wish a Merry Christmas out there to my family. I love you all very much and hope such great things for you. May God bless each of you and may your days be merry and bright.