Bitter Sweet Christmas Eve

merry christmas sign
Photo by Brett Sayles on

I wrote last about the passing of my husbands great Aunt. The funeral was over the weekend. We spent Saturday and Sunday with family. The service was beautiful. The pastor gave a very special message about her.

She lived a very hard life. She grew up in Poland during World War 2 and spent some of her childhood in a Russian concentration camp. She came to America. She had and lost two husbands and a daughter. The message that she herself left for us in a video recording was that life is hard and that Jesus is a friend that can love and help you through the hard times. I’m paraphrasing her words here. It was a message I think we all needed to hear and be reminded of.

Heartache can hit anyone at any time. Even those who appear to have the most blessed lives may be dealing with heartache that isn’t visible or apparent. I knew my husband’s aunt later in her life. I didn’t know much of her heartache till after I had known her for a while. She was a beautiful person. Always interested in me and my family. Always wanted to know about what my kids were doing. She was a great testimony of how you act in love despite the hard times that you have endured.

I also saw this weekend how a loving family can support one another. My husband has a big family. Many of them came and stayed the whole day with the family. There was no bickering that I  know of. Just a lot of love and support and kindness. It was good to see so many people loving and supporting each other. Not every family has that at a funeral time.

Today is Christmas eve and well as my middle child said this morning, “It doesn’t feel like Christmas time.” For our family today it doesn’t. There are probably many of you out there who it doesn’t feel like Christmas time either. I think that’s ok. I think that allows at least me to focus a little closer on why I celebrate Christmas. Not for a feeling but because of Jesus. And maybe I’m not focusing on the Jesus who came as a baby but the Jesus who is my friend and a friend to someone I loved.

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