advent journal: snowed in

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The first time you

came to Boston

it was so cold;

the wind bit us

at the bus stop.

You pulled me

close and asked, “Am

I still wearing pants?”

then you laughed.

 

When you first

came to Durham —

our first Christmas

in our new home —

we were snowed in.

You looked out and said,

“I’ve never had

a white Christmas”

and you smiled.

 

Tomorrow will be

in the sixties when

we pick Mom up

at the airport:

no snow; no you.

We’ll smile and say,

“Now let me tell

you something . . .”

and miss you.

 

As our house fills

up with empty

chairs, I don’t

know how to

prepare for absence.

I am snowed in

by sorrow, grateful

for those who keep

digging me out.

 

Peace,

Milton

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Why do we Christians think there is some kind of lead barrier between us and our departed loved ones?? And a similar one with God if we insist in keeping our lives separate from our faith. Hush, and in your grief allow the comfort to flow in like the warmth from a beloved’s fireplace. Your father is waiting in that space to comfort you.

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    • Thanks, Shari.

      I have come to understand more about grief being “a thin place” where my faith if more palpable and my father very present. I don’t think of him as separate; he is, however, absent in the ways I once knew him. I find comfort in the old hymn: “earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.” Merry Christmas.

      Peace
      Milton

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  2. I didn’t always get to spend Christmas with my brother, Dan, since he often volunteered to staff the ER on holidays to give others a chance to spend them with their loved ones. I was always glad to know I shared a world with someone so generous and loving. This will be the first time since 1957 that i will have been in a world where he is just a loving memory. I, too, am feeling thin places where faith has to take over from certainty. Knowing of others who also walk this dark path is helpful. Thank you.

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