It’s the holiday season and this year it is mixed with both joy and sadness. Though my brother lived some 1800 miles away, Steve typically called every Christmas Eve as we all gathered together in celebration of the season. This year, there will be no call for cancer ended his time on this earth. Yesterday, I drove to the veterans cemetery, his final resting place. The snow was falling, the wind was blowing, and the air was bitter cold. I stood at his grave and sadness filled my heart. At the same time, wonderful, joyful memories filled my mind. I remembered all the long-ago Christmas days when Dad was still with us, when our Grandparents were still with us, and when laughter filled the air. I remembered those Christmas Eve nights when we’d gather together…me at the piano, Jack with his trombone, Steve with his drums, and Jamie on the guitar. We would play Christmas songs and everyone would join in to sing the familiar words. I remembered my brothers and me playing Sorry and Battleship and Monopoly. They would cheat. I would catch them. We would laugh, drink hot chocolate and eat all the wonderful Christmas cookies Mom made for us.
Yes, as I stood in the wind and the snow yesterday, I felt sorrow that Steve was no longer with us but more than the sorrow, I felt joy that he had been in our lives and remembered all the wonderful times we shared.
And really, isn’t that what this season is all about? Merry Christmas.