Sitting In The Dark

A few days ago the power went out.  A few days ago we lit candles, got out flashlights and enjoyed the silence. A few days ago we were given a gift.

I was 4 days post my final surgery (Hooray!), I still had my drains in and wasn’t feeling fabulous. My mom and Freddie who drove all the way up from San Diego to help us out and spend Christmas with us had both gotten nasty colds. Mom and I were trying to change things up a bit and get out of the house and think about other things, so we did what we always do in somewhat awkward and stressful situations … we went to our favorite Mexican joint, ate chips and salsa and drank margaritas.

Margaritas! / TiffanyAOlson.com

Margaritas Are Always A Good Idea!

For the record, chips, salsa and a good margarita can always put a smile on your face, even if only for a short while. Of course the outing with mom is not complete unless you take a selfie, making sure the margarita is in the photo and sending it to your sister telling her how much you wish she was with you. They do the same for me when they are together and the response is always the same no matter which sister is missing. “It looks like you are having fun!”  pause … “Don’t talk about me!” The reply back is always … “Only good things!” It was while we were smiling that Mr. Wonderful called and suggested that we hang a bit longer because the power had just gone out at home and wouldn’t be back on for several hours. But since drinking more than one margarita and trying to drive home was not a viable option we chose to go home and brave the outage.

As it was getting dark the boys finished up whatever project they were working on outside while those of us inside got out the candles and flashlights and began to chat. I asked Papa Freddie about favorite Christmases as a child and he reminisced about his dad putting lights on the house, setting up trees and that overall his Christmases over the years had all been good. My mom talked about how much her dad loved Christmas and getting the tree. They would go to a u-cut place and he always allowed her to pick out the tree for their celebrations because she was the youngest. He would then get it all set up for them, grab a hi-ball and sit and watch as my mom, her sister Ramah and my Grandma put all the decorations on. She too said that overall her memories of Christmas’s long ago were fond and filled her with joy. Both mom and Freddie have celebrated over 70 Christmases. I can guarantee you that more than a few of those years were hard ones. Loved ones have been lost, friendships have come and gone and yet in spite of it all the two of them go on loving Christmas just as much as they always have. What is it about this time of year that makes one so sentimental? Why do we strive to make everything perfect? (Spoiler Alert… It never is.) Why do we feel so desperate for one month of the year to make sure that all of those in our life know how much we love them? And for this one month we ache like never before for the ones who won’t be celebrating with us this year.

I can tell you right now that I do not have all the answers to these questions and I am the worst at being casual about Christmas. I also wish I could tell you that I am pouring over my advent books and having daily devotions with my kids about the true meaning of Christmas and Christ coming to earth as a baby. But between surgery and recovery and drains and prayers that Papa’s cold doesn’t seep into his one remaining lung and cause pneumonia, there has been little time for intense focus on the whole reason for this season. And as I write this I am being reminded that Christmas is about love and in loving I am celebrating the true meaning of Christmas because Christ is love. This is why it is so great and so hard all at the same time. I read in a book a while back that love is a verb, love is an action word. Love doesn’t sit around and do nothing it tries to ease the burdens of others in whatever way you can. It means leaving sunny San Diego and driving for two days to come to Coos Bay and hang in the rain and cold, even when you hate the rain and cold. It means trying to come up with the perfect sleeping arrangements for your parents and then giving up your bed for an air mattress in your daughters room because “perfect” has proven to be not so perfect. Love means sitting on the couch all day binge watching Christmas movies with your daughter because if she moves around too much they won’t take the drains out the next day. Love is a husband who miracously keeps everything else going without ever complaining or criticizing about the circumstances or situations.

Christmas is about love. The love that God had for this world. God loved us all so much that he sent his one and only son to this earth to be born as a baby. I am not going to fret about my lack of pure devotion to reading about advent. Instead I am going to hang with those that I love and be in the moment and create memories. And one day in the future my hope is that my kids are going to look back over their lifetime of Christmases and remember the love. The love of Christ the love of their parents and grandparents and the sacrifices that were made for each other because that is what love does.

Fortunately the lights came back on around 6:00 pm which left plenty of time for me to download “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Amazon prime and introduce my children to yet one more Christmas tradition. This season when the moment presents itself, take the time to soak in all the love that is around you. I am so very aware that this Christmas is going exceptionally hard for many people that I love dearly but I also know that no matter how hard it is, if you look for it, you will find love.

P.S.

Drains out day! / TiffanyAOlson.com

I Got The Drains Out!

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Comments

  1. Chris Williford says:

    Merry Christmas TIFF! Thanks again for sharing, may your family continue to be blessed abundantly !

    • Thank you sweet Chris! I found out a few weeks ago that one of my friends here used to work at your salon by Giwilikers… Her name is Denise and she owns D’s Scissors here in town. Her son and mine are in the same grade. I’m sure she was working for you when Jean and I used to come in. Small world.♥

  2. Deborah Lieuallen says:

    Yay! Your tubes are out, your family is there to support you and you realize you aren’t perfect. God has done a “good” work in you….and you are sharing this journey with us. Thank you Tiffany!

  3. nancy goodman says:

    Tiffany dear, your words are just what I needed to hear today!!! THANK YOU, and MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your wonderful family!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo gmaNancy

  4. Nancy the thank you goes to you for always shedding love and joy wherever you go. ♥

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