There really is a Santa Claus. Christmas wishes really can come true and Christmas miracles are possible.
I'd like to tell you the story of our Christmas....
Last February I posted a blog called "Family and Forgivenes" about how I royally screwed up the one thing that means the most to me...family. I knew I was the pariah and I accepted my fate. I knew I wasn't wanted within the confines of Stan's family...it became a game of semantics ~ "Stan's family" and "family" were two totally different images in my mind. I had to separate them in my mind to keep myself a little sane. I tried what I could to apologize and make amends but time was what it would take to mend all broken hearts, mine included. There was more than enough hurt to go around and I didn't hold out much hope for forgiveness or reconciliation.
There was nothing I wished for more than for this family to be whole again ~ it was my one big Christmas wish. But I didn't see how it could possibly happen. I climbed into the car last Thursday to head to Maine with a pit of fear in my stomach. I prepared for the worst but prayed for the best. We would be in and out quickly, I thought. Please God help me through the weekend, I prayed. I sat quietly and looked out the window as the miles clicked off closer and closer to our final destination. I wondered what the weekend would have in store for me. I wanted nothing better than for my kids and Stan to have the kind of Christmas they deserved but I wasn't sure how everything would play out...
Christmas was our time to forgive and move on...
One of my favorite traditions from Stan's family, our family, is the breaking of Oplatek (which is a thin wafer designed to be shared with one another)...wikipedia explains it best. "Family members and friends break off a small piece of the opłatek wafer and give it to one another along with a blessing. Breaking off and exchanging part of opłatek with someone is symbol of forgiveness between two people and is meant to remind participants of the importance of Christmas, God, and family."
Forgiveness was given and family mended. What happened is past and we all agreed to move forward. I can't be more thankful and blessed than I am right now. The saying "getting stronger through adversity" couldn't be more applicable to a situation then it is to this one. My vision is for a strong, healthy family as we move toward a bright new future.
I wrote this poem a couple of years ago and Claire used it this year in her gift to her grandfather. It sums up what family is to me...
This is the legacy of our family.
It may not be perfect but it's what has made you and me
Through life's imperfections we learn everyday
Not to take for granted those for whom we pray.
We hold in our hearts the memories of us together, you and me.
We hold in our hearts the certainty of our family tree.
Through tears and through smiles
We walk together braving the miles.
We have gone through challenges fraught
And through the trials we learned what was taught.
There were good days and bad days ~
Days which we hoped would just fade away.
There were days made of love and laughter.
Those were the days we chased after.
There were weak times and strong times,
Times when the walls, oh, we so wanted to climb.
There were times of giggles and sunshine.
Those were the days of our family defined.
All of these times made our family all the stronger and given each of us a legacy.
We have taken the lessons to heart and built our family.
As I was preparing for the weekend, I was talking to one of my friends, telling her about my feelings of fear and anxiety. She told me she had similar feelings one Christmas. She and her family traveled out of state and she was dreading the trip as much as I was dreading ours. She went on to tell me it was one of the best Christmases she and her family had. I went into the weekend believing this Christmas would go down in history as one of my all time worst ~ I came away with the feeling this Christmas was one of my favorites. Thank you, Kendall for giving me faith!
This Christmas is more than I could have ever hoped for and I am blessed. My Christmas wish has been granted and Christmas miracles really do happen. This family is mended for the love of my children....