Christmas Eve to Remember ... Or Not

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Christmas Eve to Remember ... Or Not

Welcome to Christianity Oasis. This is Christmas Eve to Remember ... Or Not from our Sojourn With Luz Leigh Collection. We hope you enjoy this enlightening reading and it helps you on your own be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

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Sojourn With Luz Leigh

Christmas Eve to Remember ... Or Not

Written by Luz Leigh - 21 December 2007

The following is taken from the story of my life ... parts of which do not make me proud ... truth hurts.

Mother's condition became very grave by December. I think she knew her life was now numbered in days, not months or years. During the last years of her life, she would go to a local doctor and have some sort of procedure done. I was too small to understand what took place but during one such procedure, it was said that the doctor "punctured" her lung, causing it to collapse. She was very self-conscious about her appearance after this occurred. Because she was so thin by this time, the collapsed lung caused her back to take on the appearance of having a "hump" where the normal lung was. She could not sleep on her right side because of the non-functioning lung. Not only did she suffer from TB, but she had asthma. I can remember the horrible wheezing sounds that would come from her room when she would be having an asthmatic attack. There was nothing I could do to relieve her suffering, but I would go into the room and stand by her bedside, wishing something could be done to help her breathe. I remember standing by her bed once, with Mother begging me to pray for her. I was just a small child and had not really learned how to pray an intercessory prayer. It was shortly thereafter I made up my mind to learn how to pray on behalf of others.

On the night of January 5th, Mother was quite ill. Some friends and family there waiting for the inevitable. Daddy told me to go on to bed, which I did. I finally fell into a deep sleep and barely aroused when someone came into my room and said, "Get up. Your mother is dying." To this day, I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think of those words and what I did, rather what I did not do, upon hearing them. I did not immediately get up - I did not want to face what was happening across the hall from my bedroom. I lay in my bed, hoping what I had heard was not true. Then Daddy came into the room, took me in his arms, and with tears in his eyes, he told me Mother was gone. I can remember sobbing for a long time, leaning on his strong body for comfort. He never said anything about my not being in the room when Mother left this world for her much-earned rest and freedom from pain. I don't know if he even knew someone went to my room before Mother died. But, I know. That was in the very early morning of January 6th. Mother was buried on a cold, cold Saturday following her death. There were only graveside services and the sharp north wind cut right to the bone.

Let me jump back to that last Christmas Eve. Daddy knew I wanted a watch for Christmas ... I had told "Santa" this. So, as we always did, we opened our gifts around mid-afternoon. There were two gift boxes from the jewelry store, wrapped in the prettiest paper I had ever seen. Daddy handed Mother her gift; she opened it to find a delicate Bulova watch inside. Oh, that was the prettiest watch I had ever seen. When it came my time, I opened my box ... only to find a Mickey Mouse watch! Because in Daddy's eyes, I was still a child. The disappointment was plain. My parents looked at each other, and only as loving parents can do, they took away my disappointment. Mother handed me her gift, taking my Mickey Mouse watch. She said it was just a joke Daddy was pulling on me. Oh, my heart leapt with joy. You see I was SOOO spoiled. I put the Bulova watch on and thought I was the most loved child in the world. My selfishness still makes me cringe and shed tears when I recall that incident. You see, had I waited about 13 more days, the watch would have been mine anyway, for Mother would have no use for a watch in the land to which she would journey.

The watch was worn by me for many years and it still sits in the maroon velvet gift box, a silent reminder of my parents' great love and my selfishness.

As I have stated before Mother began to prepare for her death long before it happened. She searched through the Sears Roebuck catalog, found a simple gray wool skirt and a pretty white blouse with some lace on the front. There were long sleeves to help cover her arms that had become so very thin. She ordered these items and had them hanging in her room in preparation for her demise. But, someone stepped in and convinced Daddy that this was not appropriate attire for a burial. During those days most women were buried in a "shroud," a gown-like garment sold by funeral homes. I was not allowed to accompany Daddy to the funeral home to make preparations for Mother's funeral, so I was surprised when I saw her laying in her casket, dressed not in her chosen clothes, but a pink shroud. She looked pretty, but it just wasn't right. I think she wanted to wear something that did not look like bed clothing because she had spent too many days of her young life dressed that way. So three months and two days past her thirty-sixth birthday, my sweet mother was laid to rest in the family cemetery.

As I have stated, there were only graveside services with few people there because it was so cold and a light rain was falling. I don't know where I got it, maybe Mother had bought it for me before she died, but, anyhow, I wore a dark brown velveteen jacket for warmth. It was pretty, but did little to keep me from shivering. The cold weather was not the only thing that made me shiver that day.

I am sorry if this sounds sad ... it is, but every year on Christmas Eve I am reminded of my parents' love for me ... only overshadowed by Christ's love for me.

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