All in all, Christmas was great. Blueberry pancakes for breakfast that Bridget made. Practical, simple gifts that I will actually use and not just give away six months down the road or have sit in my closet or under the bed until the dust bunnies eat away at it. I can now get rid on some of my heel-holed hiking socks because I have gotten a few new pair. Mom will be taking me out to Petersham to buy an alpaca wool and fleece hat on tuesday, my one day off this week. I have a small new coffee/spice grinder to add to my fascination of grinding my own coffee beans. And a new Tanzanian peaberry coffee to try. Christmas is not complete without a new book, some chocolate, some toiletry items in the stocking, a new DVD (Eat, Pray Love!) under the tiny upstairs tree, four new teas from the wilds of Alaska to try and some wedding scaprbooking items from Bridget to get me going on creating an album to last a lifetime. Dinner at the Gauthier's was excellent and even though it didn't seem like I had alot on my plate to eat, I walked away very full and about to burst. The conversation Grammie, Aunt Sue and I had after dinner was full of laughter which was great to be a part of.
Dinner at home was fried dough. I know! Fried Dough! Thanks to my mom. It was delicious! I may just have another piece before bed! I also got to skype with Andrew for over two hours this morning as we opened each other's gifts over Skype (as did mom, erin and bridget). It was so much fun even though I called him wicked early to wake him up because I couldn't wait for him to open his gifts from us!
Yet despite all the wonderful times had by all, I know of a few families that are hurting this Christmas. My college friend Jen wrote a personal message to a selet few individuals asking for prayer this Christmas day because her grandmother had to go into the hospital a few days ago and the doctors called today to tell the family she is dying. So everyone packed up and drove down to the hospital to be with her today. It is a blessing that it has happened during a time when the family is all together and can all say their goodbyes, but this sad memory will linger on for Christmases to come for her family.
My own family is hurting in some way or another. Sam not being in the house for Christmas, or even living here. Erin, who lives away at school for most of the year, is trying to deal with everything that has happened since before thanksgiving while she was away as well as trying to find her role in the new family dynamic this all has created. Sam is hurting - he is grieving as he comes to terms with what has happened, what is continuing even now and what could possibly happen in the near future. Mom is hurting because her relationship with Sam has pretty much been severed...especially since he is blaming her for everything. She loves him just as she always has and always will, but she is torn apart this Christmas. My dad is also in some stage of grieving. He has Sam living up at grammie's house with him and Grammie and wants to help everyone find a solution to issues and on everything that has happened in the last couple months but can't please everyone.
Andrew and I aren't necessarily hurting in our relationship, but I know he misses me. I miss him to, but I think it affects him more. Sometimes he is really depressed when he thinks about how far apart we are. But the countdown to the wedding is giving him new hope and something fun to do while he looks forward to the time when I will be back in his arms...and married to him! I know he is giddy with excitement.
And I am sure there are others who are living with ghosts of the past this Christmas season.... Bryan Brogan is inAfghanistan right now. Others from specner had come home injured and are recovering. one of Bryan's friends in his unit recently died while out walking one night.
I guess i just hope that even though everyone has something to hurt about and something painful to remember or get through, that at least there is some good which can come out of it all. Some sort of blessing in disguise. We've had a very relaxing, happy and peaceful Christmas...on both sides of the family and in both places it was celebrated. Andrew experienced somewhat of a first very real Christmas...with presents under the tree and being woken up too early to be coherent...even though I am a long distance away. And the whole Economopoulos family and beyond is gathered around a loved one to offer encouragement to the passing grandmother. What would have happened if this had been a week later? Would someone have been beside her when she went to live with Jesus?