This time of year Daniel gets very busy, and I get very blue. This being our fourth Christmas in East Asia, away from family, and my sixth Christmas in a row without snow, I tend to get a little pickled during the month of December.
Yet I have to say, this year my heart is lighter. I can't figure out why. Of all the years to have a light heart, this one brought the mourning of Sue-Sue's passing, and this week's end to baby Glory's long fight for her life. There was the shocking death of my cousin's son, Karter, which brought all of us to our knees. Daniel and I stumbled through three medical emergencies with Brave, a toddler adoption (hel-lo), spiritual warfare that nearly sunk us, Xiao Fu's brother's fatal misstep, and a bout with the yucks for me that nearly lasted half a year and smelled faintly of depression.
So why the light heart now? Why the energy to keep wrapping and baking and lighting advent candles with my children? Why the desire to crank up the jingle and the jangle of vintage carols and smile my way through "White Christmas" with Daniel?
Could it be all the times the six of us have been apart in the last few months, causing me to relish every moment with them? Could it be all the encounters with death, causing me to recognize the blessing of every day life?
Could it be that I am finally, FINALLY adjusting to "the pill" ? (ah-hem)
Could it be prayer? (um,yes)
Could it be me, getting older, and shedding a bit of the fuzzy down that characterizes the wobbly, chirpy beginnings of adulthood?
Or could it be the wail of a newborn baby in a stable in Bethlehem, signalling the end of hopelessness and the birth of happiness for all mankind?
I'm thinking all of the above. Whatever the reason, this Christmas season, even as we grieve the loss of our niece and consequently long to be in America right now, I feel...well...pretty good. Listening in on Daniel's conversation with Kerry on Skype last night helped, too, for who can ride the tide of gloom when Glory's mom is able to laugh with her goofy little brother?
Yes, this year, we are all going to be alright.