A week ago, my husband and I welcomed our children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, and nephews to our home to celebrate Thanksgiving. My heart was full as, in turn, we shared what we were grateful for. Family, food, mountains, and home were some of the blessings we listed. And LOVE – an expansion of heart that allows us to connect at a deep emotional level that transcends any thing that we acquire.
As I hugged my children and grandchildren and siblings goodbye, my heart was filled to capacity with that love. And I felt happy.
The next day, after all the family had left, my husband and I began the task of taking down Thanksgiving decorations and replacing them with our beloved Christmas decorations, collected over the many years that we have been married, thirty-plus years in all. Thirty-plus years that we have laughed and cried and yelled and fought and played and prayed together – and LOVED.
Through every up and down, good day and bad, we LOVED.
And on this day of transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas, as we lined up each of the thirty-plus dated ornaments and placed them in succession on the tree, I felt sad. In the midst of a heart full of love, I felt sad. Not an overwhelming sorrow or sinking depression or scary feeling of helplessness – just sad.
Sad that children are grown, that Santa needn’t stop at our place this year. Sad that we will spend our first Christmas Eve in our entire married life with just the two of us.
I thought for a minute about this sadness and realized I was no longer afraid of sad. I had spent much of my life trying to cover up sadness, run from sadness, and fight sadness. And on this quiet night as my husband and I embraced – I was no longer afraid.
Instead, my heart was again filled to capacity – with love.