12.25.2006

Candlelight Service

There's always something so special about a candle light service. As I walked into church last night my heart skipped a beat. I immediately saw my bestest friend, Karen. I commented on how beautiful our church looked. With the lights down low and a candle lighting each pew I made my way down the aisle. Each pew was decorated with a red ribbon, greenery and of course a candle. Simple yet elegant.

My mother in law came so she could hear her son sing Mary, Did You Know? accapella. I love the way my husband sings Mark Lowery's song. The words are so powerful that music would be a distraction.

Our pastor gave a beautiful message and then invited everyone to circle around the sanctuary to sing Silent Night. Well, my hubby had put my crutches clear out in the foyer so by the time he would be able to get them and bring them to me and help me up...well...you get the picture....
So I sat there in my pew singing Silent Night and looking at everyone. At first I felt awkward, but my church family knows me and understands why I wasn't with them. As I sang I started thinking about all of you. I wondered who else was at their Christmas Eve service maybe singing the same song. I wondered how Jaymun and his family were holding up at such a difficult time. I wondered how many of you were trying to get your excited little ones to bed so you could put out their gifts! You all have a piece of my heart.

The phone rang early this morning and woke me up. It was my mother. My heart races each time I see my dad's name on the caller id. Sometimes I'm just too scared to answer the phone because I'm afraid of what awaits on the other end. I did answer and mom just wondered what time we would be there today. I asked how dad was and she said it was going to be a tough day. I prepared myself all morning trying not to cry, knowing that this is my father's last Christmas here on earth.

My hubby got up and made a full spread for us to pick and choose from! It was delicious as always. Then the kids were anxious to open gifts...who would have thunk it?!! It didn't take long for them to get through everything and start playing with, trying on, listening to, or doing whatever the gift required of them!

My hubby and girls went to Illinois for his side of the family's Christmas. He comes from a very large family and we have a blast getting together. We do a white elephant exchange and it is definitely the highlight of the evening. His family is so creative when it comes to this that not just any gag gift will do. I am anxious for them to get home so I can hear all about the night and what kinds of weird things did his family come up with this year!

My son and I stayed here so we could help mom take care of dad's needs. Dad did have a rough day. His bllod pressure stayed about 85/35 and he had a bit of a temperature. I talked to him and reminded him of how special he always made my Christmases. I told him some of my favorite gifts that he had given me over the years. I told him how much he meant to me and how I loved him so.

It was hard not to cry. The man laying in the hospital bed weighing only 130 pounds with tubes everywhere I look is not my dad. My daddy is laughing while watching A Christmas Story. My daddy has grandkids sitting on his lap. My daddy is telling corny jokes and I'm the only one laughing because I still think they are funny! My heart aches. It hurts. It's hard to watch him die. It's hard to say goodbye.

I am looking forward to a brand new day! My kids will still be having fun with their gifts and saying thank you....they are sweet and thankful for everything, even when it's underwear, seriously! My dog will be begging to go to the shop with me in the morning. My house will still be dirty! I'll be reading everybody's posts about their weekend! My husband will be asking me to find things that are staring him in the face! It's good to know that some things will never change!

And my precious little daddy will still be my hero.

2 comments:

Pamela said...

Amy, this just warmed my heart and I know what you are going through, as I went through the same with my Grandma who lived with us, as we watched her wither away. It is so hard. However, when we lost my Dad at the young age of 65 and he went to with our dear Lord, he died suddenly of a heart attack and it was devastating! No one was prepared and not being able to say our goodbyes was hard. I just hope you all can find peace and comfort during this difficult time.

Your church service sounded lovely, there is nothing more wonderful than a candlelight service; you must have a small congregation. I think you are one of the sweetest, most thoughtful friends I've had the pleasure of meeting. Your hubby sounds like he can belt it out with the way you describe his voice!

My heartfelt prayers are with you and your family always dear friend!

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) said...

Amy,
You went and made me all teary. That was beautiful. You have such a gorgeous heart! I lost my mom in 1999, and Christmas still is a little bit hard to get through without missing her to pieces. I try to do what you do, look ahead. Focus on the blessings. And laugh when we feel like crying. And then I eat a little too much chocolate!
God bless you!
DeeDee