for Christmas. I’d see the lights George strung up all over the house and think how big a pain they were going to be to take down and store for next year. I’d see the ingredients for Christmas cakes and fruit cakes in the grocery and think “OH crap, I don’t want to make them this year”.
I’ve seen the glitzy and the cheesy commercials being strewn across the airwaves and think “why is it Christmas time already” or “Can’t we just bypass the whole danged thing this year?”
Then I went to my husband’s employer’s Celebration of Life.
Hospice Circle of Love is the non-profit organization George works for. He’s a registered nurse that provides services to those at the very ends of their lives…and he loves his job. The people he works with are what my grand daddy always called “the salt of the Earth”////caring, empathetic and professional all at once.
Each year, right before Christmas, COL puts up three gorgeous Christmas trees with brass bell ornaments on them. Each bell is inscribed with the name of a former patient. Their families receive a bell free of charge from the hospice, and people can purchase them with a donation to the organization.
Last year, George and I bought ornament bells for each parent of ours as they have all died.
The night of the celebration of Life, the names of all patients are read aloud. A chaplin gives a very short sermon (for lack of a better word for it). The Executive Director thanks the family members for allowing their loved ones to be cared for by the organization. It is beautiful in the very simplicity of it all.
A soloist sings a song. This year, a young college soprano sang the same arrangement I sang in college at age 19 for my Christmas concert/midterm.
Of course, I cried.
Some times, all it takes to completely change a thought from negative to positive is a song. I am so looking forward to Christmas now.