Today is the day that my home goes into complete Christmas mode.
Family starts arriving, frenzy starts occurring, cooking comes to a boil and the visiting dogs will start barking. How wonderful is that?
I was a sickly little girl. I hated it and wanted to be just like my friends. I loved Christmas more than anyone other than my Grandma. I would get so excited at Christmas my mother swore it made me sicker.
I couldn’t sleep either and, believe it or not, to this day I don’t sleep much on Christmas Eve. I think it’s tradition!
On Christmas Eve I would lay awake and listen for Santa. I often would sneak down the stairs to see if he had come. Then when I would get to the bottom step I would quickly run back to my room, scared to death. I was afraid he would be there and wouldn’t leave me anything because I was sneaking! Being 6 is very complex.
When I was back in my room I would press my nose against the cold window pane and look across the sky to find the biggest star. I remember thinking that Jesus was born every Christmas, so I would search for the star and listen for the angels singing.
It was always a night filled with magic and wonder. It still is.
The wonder now is that I have been blessed with three children, one grandchild, two stepchildren and a husband. I go to great lengths to keep the wonder of Christmas alive for them. I never told my children about Santa because I still believe he exists. And I know for a fact there is a star out there that shines over all of us.
The star is the miracle. The hoopla that surrounds the holidays is chaotic and crazy, but the peace of Christmas resides in and around the birth of a baby ages ago.
Christ is still among us and with us in all we do. He truly is the miracle.
I understand that now more than I ever have. In 2011 my daughter was diagnosed with cancer and after a year of treatments is back to her beautiful self. I know God was with her every step of the way and held me up when I felt like falling down.
Her sister gave up a life in Seattle to be closer to family after that. She now lives within a couple of miles from her niece and sister. That is love in precious form.
In 2014, while on a family vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama, my son dove into the water and hit a sand bar. He thought he had hurt his shoulder, but we took him to a trauma center close by to just make sure. He kept twisting his neck trying to pop it back into place. He looked gray.
Once we got to the ER they performed test. He had broken his neck. He had feeling in all extremities and the doctor’s words exactly: “Son, you have an angel on your shoulder, you should be a quadriplegic right now!”
That was the day that the wonder of God walked right down a hall in a trauma center and touched my son, my heart and our lives.
My son now has a plate in his neck and is back to his beautiful self just like his sister.
I don’t know why my children were spared and not others. I don’t know why some families never seem to have any catastrophes, but I know one day, because I have faith, I will find out.
This Christmas you may be going through a tough time, or you may have lost someone that you love. Your heart may be hurting and grief is clouding the joy of Christmas. You may be sick and suffering or feel desperately alone.
My belief is that you are never alone, never forgotten and never not loved. The baby born long ago came to us to tell us that very thing.
“Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” is what He said when he grew up. I know that He is.
Yes, there will be chaos and noise around my house tonight. I will be exhausted on Christmas Eve, but I still won’t sleep. I will get up at some point, press my nose against the cold window pane, find the brightest star in sky, and say “thank you.”
I wish for you all a Merry Christmas and may God touch your heart so that you will know the star still shines. How wonderful is that?
Lynn Walker Gendusa is a former LaGrange resident who currently resides in Roswell.