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While gathering decorations for my Christmas tree and trying to find all the boxes that never contain what the note on top of the box says they do, I was almost in a panic when I could not find the tree topper.

Many people have beautiful bows or angels…not me…I have the most precious and beautiful topper in all the world!

My topper is a paper plate angel who is cross-eyed but made for “his mama” by Larkin.  Larkin made this angel at Sunday school as a 4 year old.  The “angel” has adorned my tree for 37 years.  Actually, this year, I thought I was not going to locate my most precious angel…but after a full force search of every box again…every corner of the attic…the angel box was found!

Once in place, the angel gave a peace to me that is often hard to find at Christmas.  Christmas is truly the most wonderful season of the year…but the season can be the most difficult.  All the losses, heartaches, failures, seem to take center stage during the holiday season.  As a mother who had a child to die, Christmas is tough…heck, everyday is tough!  But, when the Christmas carols began and many days are dark, the heart seems to become full very easily.

I try to “visit” my tree every day during the holidays.  I don’t have a “show case” tree.  I have a tree filled with ornaments that tell a story.  My most prized ornaments are ones made by my children and grandchildren.  I have no coordinating color to my tree.  It is filled with every color of the rainbow…just as my heart is.

I don’t think anyone ever gets over the death of their husband, mother and father…their aunts and uncles…their cousins…their childhood friends…there is no “getting over” in true grief…one learns to survive.  I think Christmas time is a true test of our survival!

Treasure your family and friends.  Treasure those handmade ornaments…some day…those ornaments may be all you have.

Merry Christmas my dear friends.  Share your special ornaments and the story behind them with Sue!

Jolyn McNair Cooke, a Magee High School graduate, shared her family tree with me. The tree is adorned only by the handmade ornaments that her daughters Cmily and Elise constructed!  How special!

 

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