Sometimes I go to post a little something to Facebook and it turns into a lotta something… I think I will start calling these posts FaceBLOGS. That’s what happened to my little summary of the Magnotti family Christmas. It should give you all an idea of how we are doing. I posted it on Facebook yesterday but wanted to make sure that our blog readers got an update too. And, I’m sure you wanted to see these pictures of Austyn’s first Christmas, too! :]
On Christmas Eve we were expecting a rush order of medical supplies to arrive at our house. We always celebrate the 24th of December with my side of the family so my brother and his wife and two daughters were there, my mom and my little sister too. Nick had fought through his pain and nausea to be a part of the gathering for about an hour. But just before we were going to watch a movie and open presents, it got to be too much. I helped him get settled back in bed. He felt horrible physically and was so upset that he had to excuse himself early. He just wanted to feel better enough to talk to my brother about work, to play with his nieces and daughter, and to even just watch everyone open the gifts that he and I picked out so thoughtfully together. All I could do was hold him and tell him I was sorry and that I wished I could change it. We prayed together and he slowly drifted back to sleep.
When I got back downstairs, we all sat down to open gifts and I realized that this was the very first time I was celebrating a holiday without my husband present in over six years. At first, I thought I might cry but then I thought about how blessed I am that I got to have him there for every holiday for that long. How blessed I was that he was just upstairs sleeping and that I could recount all the gifts given, the kids’ faces and the jokes to him later that night. Considering that this will probably be his last Christmas, I am beyond lucky that he is still lucid, honestly.
As I was contemplating all of the positives that I could possibly muster out of the fairly depressing scenario, the doorbell rang. I got to the door just as my three year old niece did.
A man, probably in his early forties, is there with the delivery and the typical form to sign. “Sorry you have to be out on Christmas Eve,” I say earnestly. “It’s ok. It’s not like I have any kids to celebrate with or anything…” He glances down at my niece who has her cute little arms wrapped around my legs.
He’s walking away with an extra slump in his step. That was so far from my intention. “I hope you have a Merry Christmas!” I shout after him. “Doubt it.” He shouts back.
I add one more thing to my list: Thank you God for allowing me to see the positives when it is so easy to only see the negatives.
My friends…. if you worked this Christmas, be thankful you were able. If you got to see family, be happy that you can. If you ate even one hot meal yesterday, you had more than over half of this world’s population did.
Happy is not what I am right now. What we are going through IS extremely, terribly sad. But Joy is something else entirely and it is something that, by the grace of God, we are experiencing daily. He has granted me (at least in this moment) the ability to see the big picture.
I am so beyond grateful for this perspective. I pray over and over that it lasts forever. I never want to forget the lessons that I’ve learned.
Thank you, God, for the most amazing gift of all. Thank you for Jesus, who made it possible to spend eternity with our God and our loved ones. What a truly priceless gift, especially this year.
Oh, and for the record, Nick WAS able to sit by the tree on Christmas Day and open stockings and presents with Austyn and I. AND, he was able to stay downstairs while his family was here to celebrate into the afternoon. God. Is. Good.
May the Hope, Peace and Joy of Christmas be with you always.