Family Reflections at Christmas

Any moment now, my son, Nate, will walk through the door, home for his first extended winter break in College. It seemed appropriate, then, to post this short reflection.

Several days ago, I was reading a letter that my Mom wrote to Heidi and me for our anniversary. It contained a beautiful reflection about my Dad and my son. Back when Nate was less than 2 years old, Dad would spend an afternoon or two in our home in Pittsford, New York, with Nate so that I could go into Eastman to do some research for my dissertation. In very early spring 1999, Nate slid off the guest bed one day and landed on a toy truck or car in just the “right” way that his leg slid out from under him, and he fell and broke his leg —  on the very night before I left town for a job interview!

I want to share this story for two reasons. First, it is precious and sweet and life affirming at a time when I think we all need those reminders of the good things in the world and the good times in our lives. This is the season of pilgrims’ stars and lighted candles; let’s remember that the darkness cannot beat us when we are agents Faith, Hope, and Love.

Second, I’ve been enjoying seeing pictures of former students now raising their own families; some are even enjoying their first Christmases this December! I want you all to know how wonderful it is to see you so happy. Enjoy these times! Make the most of them! They go by quickly. I can remember Nate’s first Christmas like it was yesterday; now we’re anticipating his first Christmas home from college.

My Mom writes: “This morning [December 4, 2015] I browsed through 3 ‘composition’ books in which Dad wrote sermons as well as papers (reflective) for [his M.Div. degree]. Later I typed his papers but he always wrote everything in long hand first. I found a section where he told about taking care of Nathan in Pittsford. One morning when Dad arrived Nate was fussy. He had recently had the cast removed from his leg. But he held up his arms for Dad to take him. Dad wrote that Nate snuggled against his chest and shoulder for a good 5 minutes. Dad could feel Nate’s little heart beating and surmised that Nate could feel Dad’s heart beating. Even though I must have typed this paper, I didn’t recall the incident nor the impact it made on Dad. I am keeping those notebooks.”

Dear Readers: Hold your loved ones, your friends, and your neighbors close! And may Peace abound.

December 17, 2015