Sunday, October 16, 2011
Christmas was on my mind last month as I was shopping and wrapping gifts for the family in anticipation of leaving Minnesota. Amazon baited me with an ad for KitchenAid mixers when I was shopping online and I was thinking that would surely be a gift I would enjoy. Later, though, as I began packing up my bedroom closet, I pondered over the things that would be really important to me while living so far from my family. Certainly photos top the list. Family photos are food for a hungry soul, are they not? Next I thought about all of the everyday items that I simply take for granted-things like Aveda shampoo and lotion, my cell phone that enables me to keep in touch with everyone and the dinners when the family comes over for roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, followed by homemade brownies. Really, so many of the truly choice tidbits of everyday life come to me with so much ease that I take them to be commonplace, or at least I did until we were close to leaving.
This reminded me of being in the hospital a few years ago with my mother, who was dying of emphysema. As I watched over her day-to-day, we were able to communicate very little because of her oxygen deprivation. One day as we anticipated my brother's return from Turkey, I noticed that she had tears streaming down her frail, worn-out cheeks. the spirit heightened my understanding and I asked her if she was sad to think there would never be another complete family gathering. She nodded her head. All of those wonderful, lovingly prepared family meals were decidedly a thing of the past. It was as though the Holy Ghost took a highlighter and marked this moment permanently in my memory. That reminder came flooding in today as I looked at the calendar and realized we would be leaving very soon. How many more family gatherings could we crowd in? Enough to hold my heart for two years? Probably not.