On the 4th Day of Christmas, my True Lord gave to me, fun with my family; with thoughts and prayer for another in pain.
Yesterday started out ok. I went to my friend’s house to take care of the kitty cats and hang with them for a little while. One cat hides away while the other one craves the treats in my hand and the rubs on her head. We enjoyed some good head rubbing before she went off and curled up on the couch.
I was supposed to go visit someone in need of prayer and a listening presence. Due to paperwork and protocol, I have not been able to visit this individual and yesterday wasn’t going to be an exception. I promised I would visit, to bring some sort of spirit and hope during this dark week of Christmas, but I have not been able to. No matter how hard I worked to make it happen, I had no control over the outcome and it didn’t work out. It made me sad and I wondered how the person was coping. I know I won’t bring much in the way of hope, but at least there would have been someone there to listen, to be there without judgment, and to bring God’s love and presence. He won’t be able to be with his family in the way a father should at Christmas. He won’t be able to look into his children’s eyes without judging himself. He won’t be able to look at his wife without wondering how he disappointed her. He won’t be able to spend time with his family in the way a family should at Christmas, without a deputy saying “time’s up”.
Last night my family had our Christmas. My youngest big brother (the youngest of three, all older than me. Yes, feel sorry for me, you should) is a Richmond Fire fighter and had to work Christmas Day. So we got together last night to celebrate with one another. My three brothers, two sisters-in-law, nephew and niece were at my mom’s. The eldest nephew had to work, so we made fun of him. Seriously, I hate that he had to work, but I am proud of the work he is doing while in school. Without him, we had a meal together including my mother’s sausage balls. We have to have those. It’s a part of the tradition and it’s normal for the first sibling that arrives to find where they are and be sure they taste just right before the others’ partake.
We had fun last night, maybe except the eldest brother who had been sick all week. At least he smiled in-between the coughs. My niece was teaching her brother how to use ITunes on his IPhone. It was funny because he just passed a big test for the Richmond Fire Dept, yet he couldn’t redeem an ITunes gift card. Oh yes, I am proud of him too. He is following in his father’s footsteps to be a fire fighter. And the niece is no exception to my pride, because she is turning into a star basketball player. If only they would get me the schedule, I could go see her play and take photographs. They brought their little furball puppy last night that took great pride in growling at my second eldest brother. I was amused because this thing is smaller than my cat. You can fit him in a pocket but he was protecting his momma. It was a good night to be with family.
I got home last night and waiting for me was a beautiful card and gift sent by a former youth in Boston. You could tell by the smile on my face she wrote a heartfelt note and spent time to bring me hope and a precious reminder of our time together. She brought me some wonderful Christmas cheer and memories.
Yesterday I had a lot to be grateful for and I am. It was a good day with family but on the way home I couldn’t help but think about the visit I had hoped to have earlier in the day. There is a family torn apart by bars and bulletproof glass that had limited time together and painful reminders of what is to come. I wondered what they were doing this week. I imagine there wasn’t sausage balls, a Christmas meal, or a dog growling us into laughter. Maybe they are receiving cards of hope and prayer in the way I did last night. I don’t know. What I do know is I had two families in my thoughts and prayers last night, knowing that God is watching over them both. I just hope and pray they can feel His presence now, more than ever.