Today is the winter solstice…the shortest day of the year. (thus it is sometimes called the Longest Night of the year) On this day the sun is at its lowest arc and appears to “stand still”…which is Latin for the word solstice.
If you like gloriously long shadows today is your day…with the sun at its lowest arc…it now makes the longest shadows.
Yesterday I felt like I was playing with shadows too…but of a different nature…shadows of the past. I know Honey and I have talked about the strange feeling that comes over us when we are looking for something in a drawer and suddenly we pull out an object or letter or something from our past that brings back a sudden memory of a family member long passed.
*Honey says this happens to her more with finding her mother’s memoirs than any other and it is always when she has had her mother on her mind or dreamed about her .
When I found this old 1944 Christmas card daddy sent mother when they were still engaged and he was fighting in England during WWII it just made me smile a little sadly and wish he had lived long enough for me to get to really know him…to have more memories of him.
No sooner had I found the old sentimental Christmas card (from my father to my mother) than I read a true short story from a Guidepost entry called “A Greeting Card from Heaven.” (Diana Ayden- Inspiring Stories)
My husband’s best friend Mark always sent greeting cards. There wasn’t a holiday, birthday or anniversary that wasn’t honored with an encouraging card and note—and always arriving exactly on time.
How does he do it? we wondered.
There was only one time a card arrived on the wrong day. It was in mid-January when my husband brought in the mail, he recognized Mark’s handwriting. Opening up the card he said, “That’s odd. It’s two weeks early.”
Two days later, Mark died suddenly of a heart attack. We were heartbroken by the news, but the odd coincidence of getting one last birthday card, comforted us that Mark was okay.
That was two years ago, and every holiday, every birthday since then is a little lonely without his greetings. Hanging up the Christmas cards this year I thought about how we missed him. Of course his Christmas card was usually the first to arrive.
My husband was stringing the lights on the porch. “Do you know where the replacement bulbs are?” he asked. I found a box filled with old lights on a shelf in the basement. I started to un-pile the bulbs… looking for what he needed.
At the bottom of the box something bright red caught my eye. An envelope. I turned it over. Mark’s handwriting. Opening it up, I read his wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Holding the card to my heart, I shook my head at the timing. An old Christmas card from years ago, somehow put back in the envelope and packed away. Found right when we needed it. The only card in the bottom of a box of old lights.
Of course, if anyone could send us a Christmas card from heaven, it’d be Mark!
So until tomorrow…Let us stop and embrace those moments when we come face to face with our past memories of loved ones gone before us. I always touch the memoir whether it is a picture, letter, card or object, remind the person of my continued love and blow some kisses heavenward. We are all closer than we think.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
Caleb (Boogie Boy) Brooke’s precious grandson made the news (Post&Courier) this past week as his photo was taken staring up at Marshall…one of the characters from Paws Patrol during the Christmas Lights Display…downtown Charleston. Too cute!