Christmas has been awkward for me for a number of years now. My Dad died late on Christmas Eve in 1993 and remembering the loss of one so close to me has often dampened my spirits. The previous two Christmases have been particularly difficult, though I don’t know why.
This year was different. I thought a lot about Dad, even had a wonderful dream a couple nights ago about both him and Mom (she died in 2001). I was grateful for them both, knowing the true gifts they gave me and my three sisters can never be taken away. Two specific things probably helped the more positive spirit.
First, Gretchen and I shifted our shopping attention this year and focused on gifts to charities we believe do a good job of addressing issues of poverty. The Heifer Project, Compassion International, and BOGO Solar Powered Light are three we found compelling. We gave money we normally spend on gifts to each of them in honor of a number of family members. It was a cool to see their reactions when we told them of the gift. We don’t need more stuff; many others do. We’re trying to connect with groups delivering help effectively.
Our spirit was also buoyed with news our son David is on his way home from Iraq, having completed his (extended) 2nd tour of duty. He is in Kuwait at the moment and should be back with his wife at his home base in Colorado Springs in two days time. He’ll be here with us on January 8, which is when we’ll truly celebrate Christmas.
I’m also thankful for you, this diverse collection of people who like to run, write about running, comment about running and see how running connects us as people. Thank you for being a more-significant-than-you-might-think part of my life. I truly appreciate it.
So, at the end of Christmas Day, 2007, I simply say thank you. And, from the bottom of my heart, I wish you a very Merry Christmas.