Love Made Visible
When I think about Christmas this year, the image that comes to me is the Star of Bethlehem, shining in the dark December nights. In this first Christmas season after the loss of my husband, Vito, that star–visible most clearly in the winter darkness–is an apt metaphor. To me, it seems that when loss casts a shadows in our lives, obscuring our vision of what is around us, the memories and expressions of love can stand out in bold relief against the darkness.
Vito participated fully in the joy of Christmas in the years that we were a family. This year, the first in 20 plus years, he’s not there to help put up the Christmas decorations, to plot which Nutcracker to buy to add to our son, Nick’s collection, to be my co-conspirator in Santa duties, or to curl up with in front of the wood burning stove with a good glass of Spanish red. Nick and I are slowly finding our way through this new terrain. Christmas doesn’t look the same this year nor will it look the same again. I don’t say that to be maudlin. It just is the truth. Christmases going forward will be different—not bad, just different.
Christmastime is a season of connection and of the expression of love. For whatever reason you celebrate this Season of Light, I propose that it is a fitting time to remember those that we love and have loved and for being grateful for all the ways in which love is evident in our lives. For my son and me, that love is present not only in the wonderful memories we have Vito, but also in our shepherds—family and friends who are out in these dark nights with us, gathering us to them and tending to us. We are well taken care of in this season and are in no danger of losing our way. Love lights our path through the winter darkness.
In this season of Love, my wish for you is that you and your loved ones create memories that will keep you warm through the years, that you are watched over and kept safe by family and friends, and that Love shines down on you throughout the year ahead.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.