Christmas is a celebration of miracles. They are all around us. We just have to believe.
Early last December, my dad completed several grueling months of chemotherapy. I remember posting on Facebook, “Ho, Ho, Ho! No mo’ chemo!” My post belied the torture of waiting like anxious children to see if Santa would deliver the most precious gift of all ~ time.
It had been a rough year. My parents had no choice but to trade their beautiful Arizona home for an apartment at a senior living residence in Indiana, so I could help manage Dad’s care and treatment. They weren’t much in the mood for decking the halls but agreed to put up a small, artificial Christmas tree.
As each December day passed, my dad felt better, as evidenced by the growing number of Christmas decorations in their apartment. As his spirits improved, so did my mom’s. They had become cheerful little elves making countless trips to Hobby Lobby for more wreaths, candles, and garland.
I played Scrooge, questioning my dad’s ability to drive and chastising him for teetering on a chair as he hung festive greenery around every window in their little home. By Christmas day, they had been awarded “Best Holiday Decorations” at Northridge Senior Living.
Santa didn’t let us down. My dad’s last Christmas was a happy one. The improvement in his health lasted through spring. When the cancer returned, there was nothing more to do but be grateful for the life of a wonderful man.
A couple of weeks ago, I visited my mom. She has settled into her new place and her new life without her husband of 56 years. We dragged the little Christmas tree out of storage and half-heartedly put it up. Our silence made our thoughts about Dad seem to tangibly swirl around us.
Suddenly, something fell from the tree. It bounced through the branches, hit my chest, and landed at my feet. We both looked down at the foreign object, trying to comprehend what we saw. It was a pair of my dad’s eyeglasses. They looked up at us, cheerfully reflecting the twinkling lights.
He sees us. He sees our worries and our fears. He sees our tears that come without warning. He sees our struggle to celebrate life without him. He sees us.
It reminded me of a favorite movie, Avatar. “I see you” is an affectionate greeting and philosophy of the fictional Na’vi tribe. For these spiritual beings, it means to see beyond one’s physical body into their heart and soul. He sees us.
How Dad’s glasses ended up in that tree, we have no idea, but we decided to call it a Christmas miracle.
By definition, a miracle is a surprising and welcome event, highly improbable or extraordinary with a pleasing consequence. A Course in Miracles says it’s simply a shift in perspective from fear to love.
As sure as a baby was born in a stable, as sure as Clarence got his wings, as sure as there was a miracle on 34th Street, Dad’s glasses appeared in that Christmas tree ~ a symbolic gift reminding us to reframe our perspective, look for love, and open our eyes to the miracles all around us.
Merry Christmas, Dad! I see you, too.
Think On These Things ~ Alicia