By Glenn Mollette
When I was a child, I remember my grandfather suffering chest pains. He kept putting nitroglycerin tablets under his tongue to help with the pain. My mother and I, along with my grandma and a couple of others, sat with Grandpa in the family dining-room area.
After his heart pain subsided, he sighed: “I’ll probably never live to see another Christmas.”
Looking back, I remember that he did have one more Christmas.
After Grandpa and Mamaw died, Christmases were never quiet the same. During those special times together, we thought they would never pass. It seemed that life and Christmas were frozen in time.
To a child, Christmas had always been this way and I could never imagine the occasion being any different.
We can never comprehend tomorrow. We hope and wish for tomorrow but we don’t fully understand all the changes it will bring. We hope for good jobs, paid-off mortgages, graduation from school, retirement security and on and on. However, as one Christmas after another rolls by, so do the years and so does life’s scenery and the people around us.
Some people this year will spend their first Christmas in a nursing home. Some will spend their first without a parent or a spouse. Some will try to get through the season without them. Others will try to make it through without employment or with a recent terminal-health diagnosis.
My wife and I were talking one evening recently about how better it would be if her father and my parents and others we loved were still alive. Christmas without them is different.
I don’t know what you are going through today. Our nation is dealing with a lot. We have terrorism, financial struggles and people experiencing lots of stress.
Many American families are hoping to just survive the season and make it to January 1. Let’s hope that you and I will have at least one more Christmas. If we do, let’s savor each moment. Whatever and whoever you have in your life, please take the time to embrace them and love them. Next year could be very different.
Take the time to enjoy Christmas personally. I realize it is about giving. We want to see our loved ones smile. However, in the days ahead, recharge your own batteries a little. Read some Christmas stories. Watch some Christmas movies.
Reflect on the message of peace and love delivered to the world in the baby Jesus through a peasant couple in Bethlehem. Visit some people in a nursing home or the local jail, or who are aged and lonely. Also connect with some people through visits or just by picking up the telephone and saying “Merry Christmas”. It will do them and you a lot of good.
May you have many more Christmases, but certainly at least one more, and may it be one of your best ever.
Glenn Mollette is an American author whose syndicated column is read in all 50 states.