This time of year reminds me of my grandaddy. I think it is because he is gone. People that have left us seem to have a way of creeping back into the forefront of our hearts during the holidays. Last year at this time I wrote a blog about Christmas without Bennett. This year we will have another Christmas without Bennett and though there are so many places in my heart that want to explode with words and emotions about that, I don't plan to have an entry about it. You see what I have realized is that Christmas will be without Bennett for the rest of my life. Just as it will be without my grandaddy and my father in law and Mamaw and Mama Jones. Christmas will never be the same as it was before any of them were gone for any of us that loved them.
Tonight I am more grateful than I have been in a long time. Grateful for the people that are here, the people that have yet to cross to the other side of the veil. The people that make all that I have been through in the last two years bearable. That love me just as I am, all of the time. People like my husband who goes to work everyday and comes home and loves on his girls every night regardless of how tired he is. People like my daddy who calls me all the time to make sure I am ok. People like my mom who knows when I am lying and lets me. People like my sister that loves me enough not to ask. People like my brother who does something huge like take me to the SEC Championship game to remind me who I am and how much fun I can have. People like Sam who is my everyday, all of the time. People like Brett who has become one of the best friends I've got. People like Anita who calls just in time, every time. People like Billy who is constant and has been for 20 years. People like Meg that lets me talk longer than I should when we have kids screaming. People like Kelly who never goes away. All of these people, and the rest of them that I neglected to mention because it is hard to blog with two toddlers running around, have changed my life. Each of you has made me who I am. Each of you has challenged me to be better, happier, healthier. Each of you has taken a little piece of my heart and held it close at just the right time. And God has blessed me in so many ways by having you in my life.
This Christmas what I want to remember, what I want to celebrate is the lives of these people. I want to enjoy each and every once of you as much as possible because what I have learned is that we do not get to choose. We do not have a say. When Jesus wants you home, you go home. The last two and a half years have been the hardest of my life. But with the sorrow has come so much joy. Joy from my children, my family, my friends. Joy from a Saviour that loves me enough to let me have one more day with the ones I love. That blesses me with another day to laugh until it hurts with my brothers. That gives me time to talk with my mama late a night when no one else is listening. That gives me breath for another conversation with Sam. That gives me more time for puzzles and duck duck goose. That gave me a sister that shares my heart and a husband who holds it. That gives me friends that see past my flaws and failures and share their lives with me. A Saviour who has blessed me with a family full of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. A Saviour who has watched me fail again and again as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend and yet still holds a place in His kingdom just for me.
This year I want to rejoice in who I have with me on the most special day in history. The day that Jesus was born. The day He came to this earth as human and began a life of perfection and sacrifice. I want to celebrate my life, His life, our lives. I am grateful for every day that He gives me to share with you. Thank you for loving me, for being part of my life, and for loving my girls. Merry Christmas friends. May God Bless you the way He has blessed me.