To my devoted fans: Please join us on December 24th for a hilarious Tommy Christmas party. See all your favorite characters dolled up in ugly Christmas sweaters, and hitting the eggnog hard. Will Faulkner fall off the wagon? Will Miles take a bet as to who's the first one to toss their cookies? Will Grandma Ada steal a kiss under the mistletoe?
Tune in next week to find out....
In the meantime, enjoy this tender story of renewed spirit by yours truly, Kitty Richardson. This story was penned in 2007 during a difficult time in my life. I was mourning the passing of my father, of my best friend, and sweet feline child. My daughter had moved away to chart her own course, something I gave her the courage to do, but momentarily regretted.
I hope you all remember the true spirit of the season, the families we love, and the friendships we so thoughtfully nurture. May this heightened sense of humanity stay with you all year long.
With deep love and devotion.
Christmas. The time when troubles that lay just outside our doors are held at bay by twinkling lights and swirling flakes of snow. It was December and the world that surrounded me was white, but no amount of timeless beauty seemed to allay the darkness that had settled over my spirit. It was the season of magic and miracles, but that glorious feeling of wel...l being that would normally knock at my door about this time each year, had failed to arrive. And so, I walked through this joyous time with my face set in a frown wondering where my Christmas spirit had gone. I suppressed the urge to scowl into the smiling faces of passersby, and the Christmas songs that I normally sang this time of year were not to pass over my lips. I was not myself, and I didn't much care for this person I had suddenly become.
I was lonely and sad, and scared, if I am to be honest. My world was white, its ugliness temporarily forgotten under a sparkling blanket of snow, but it was black at the same time. Sounds of laughter filtered into my ears, but yet my world was silent. Did I still believe? Had I mysteriously become a non believer? Were the words I'd spoken to others, words of faith, of hope, suddenly lies? I wrote of miracles, I spoke of miracles, but had miracles suddenly become fiction to me? I wasn't sure, and so I pondered as I set out to walk, my feet leaving deep imprints in the freshly fallen snow.
I missed my father, and my daughter, and while my house was filled with love, I felt unloved. I had a house full of family, perhaps not in the conventional sense, but family to me nonetheless. So why was it that I felt alone? I felt a connection to this world, to this place, to my life, but yet I felt disconnected. The world around me was familiar, but yet I felt as if I were a stranger in it, as if suddenly I had lost my place. It had changed, perhaps while I wasn't looking, or perhaps while I was. I had been a daughter to my father and a mother to my daughter, but I suddenly felt as if I were nothing, without identity, as if I could just disappear into the swirling snow, and the world would simply go on, as if I had never left it, or never been here at all. I was ashamed of these thoughts, ashamed to entertain nothingness, ashamed to abandon hope, faith, and the possibility in each new day. I had forgotten that time is promised to no one, that life in itself, is a gift. We allow time to pass almost without thought while we live our busy lives. The sun rises and sets, each moment magnificent, but who of us stops to relish in it? Each breath is a gift, but do any of us stop to unwrap it, to appreciate it for the splendor that it is? As I walked along the road I knew so well, the pathway that was my life, I glanced at the trees, their limbs sagging under the burden of heavy snow, and I wondered why they too looked unfamiliar. When was the last time I had even looked at them? When was the last time I had paused, and stepped away from the stress, and allowed the beauty to bring me peace? And why, although I had paused to look at this moment, did the peace not come?And suddenly I knew. While my heart longed to give, my wallet refused, and I wondered if by allowing this to become the gauge by which I measured this blessed time, had it lost its true meaning? I sat for the remainder of the day, writing in my corner of the world, troubled by these thoughts, and my loneliness, trying to make peace as the words appeared on the screen in front of me, as if by magic. As I did, the snow fell steadily, its fresh white blanket erasing any trace of my journey through the woods. The sun set, it too leaving me behind, but I had been too lost in my thoughts to look, and so, I had missed that too.
Over the sounds of home, the hum of the furnace, the gentle mew of a waking cat, suddenly I thought I heard music. I stopped typing, the steady tap, tap, tap ceasing, the sudden silence giving way to harmony and a rich bass voice, that was new, yet familiar. It was music. It was voices, few or perhaps many, mixed together, their voices raised in songs of faith and hope. Carols, those reserved for this blessed time, were being sung outside my window. I raced for the door, not hesitating, for I needed to discover the source of this comfort. There, among the snow flakes, stood a group of carolers. Their faces were lost in the shadows, but their voices reached to the tops of the trees and beyond. Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the Newborn King, they sang. I don't know how long they stood there, or how long I listened, but I know that eventually I heard my voice mixed with theirs, and I too was singing the songs that I had loved for as long as I could remember. Without warning the wind suddenly picked up, blowing the freshly fallen snow toward me in an icy rush, and I turned only for a moment to reach for a coat, or a scarf, or something to ward off the winter chill. I was singing as I did, and when I returned to the doorway, the carolers were gone.
I pulled my coat around me, slipped my feet into the boots that were never lonely, and plunged out into the darkness, armed with only a few lingering bars of Silent Night, and a candle to light my way. The carolers were gone, although I was certain that I could still hear that rich bass singing "Sleep in Heavenly Peace". They had left no footprints, no impressions in the snow, nothing to indicate that they had ever been there. But they had. I had seen them, I had heard them, and my voice had mixed with theirs, and in those moments, my heart was filled, and my spirit restored.
As I laid down to sleep, again I heard the bass voice singing "Sleep in Heavenly Peace", and that night I did. I dreamt of a man into whose ear I once whispered, "Daddy wake up, Santa came". I dreamt of a little girl who had once risen me from sleep with those same words. I dreamt of Christmases past, of feet pajamas shuffling along a red kitchen floor worn by age and time, and tiny fingers reaching for colorful packages, and red and white stockings. I dreamt of times to come, when once again my home might be filled with the sounds of family. And as I slept, I smiled, and softly in sleep, I whispered....
Merry Christmas Daddy, Merry Christmas to my beautiful daughter, Merry Christmas world.
Happy Birthday Savior; your gift has been received.