My last entry ended with, “Maybe that’s why Christmas feels so good.”
And it does.
But sometimes it hurts. The pain does not negate the beauty. This is just life. There is simply agony to be endured, just as there is bliss and joy.
Tonight, I felt the intense grief that I do believe that only a mother can know. This I believe is because a child is truly of its mother’s body, and its little life becomes the focus of a mom’s life from conception. I miss my Adrienne.
Tonight, I trolled the aisles of Hobby Lobby, looking for inspiration for a table setting I want to do for Take 6 at tomorrow night’s concert at the Orpheum. I’ve settled upon a snowflake theme that will be various shades of blue–from turquoise to deep blue. Tomorrow I’ll snap some photos–I hope it will reflect Memphis and our blues heritage in a way that will make their Memphis concert with our group at the Orpheum a pleasant memory.
As I was browsing, I noticed a mom and her daughter who were studying some neat acrylic decorations that looked like crystal. Some people might turn their noses up at acrylic because it is not crystal, but if you have children, you know plastic can be a beautiful thing! There is nothing worse than the tears of a child who has broken something that was precious to him or her—or to you!
Mom and daughter were examining the acrylic crystal blocklike thing-ies with a manger scene carved inside, as well as the pretty, transparent dove with the silver olive branch, But what clearly held the child’s attention was the icy little girl angel who knelt beside the crib of the Baby Jesus–it had an LED light within it that made the whole thing glow in an un-earthly blue. I could not imagine how exquisite it must appear to this child.
I watched and fidgeted. What I really wanted to do was to give the little sculpture to this little girl. But at the same time, I was really really worried that her mom might think I was really really weird, or maybe, somewhat understandably, she might want to teach her little girl that it is not appropriate to accept gifts from strange ladies at Hobby Lobby.
Of course, nothing ever happens to me that doesn’t make me think that Woody Allen is not somewhere in the wings of Karma, so it follows that the same preternaturally red haired elderly lady who had been circling and darting around while carrying on a vivacious conversation with herself, accosted me and in her alarm, loudly alerted another fellow shopper to the fact that I should not leave money out on top of my shopping cart. So I thanked her and snatched up the fifteen bucks that I had hoped to discreetly pull from my purse and that was now laying on top of my coat, and wadding it up in my hand, I plunged on.
“Do you like this?”, I asked the child, as I picked up the small statue. She smiled at me, and nodded, pleased that I, too, shared her appreciation for its beauty. Kids are the greatest, aren’t they? I asked her mom if it would be alright if I gave it to her, explaining my excuse, that I had lost my own daughter, pleading with her that it would make me happy if I could give something to her daughter.
And in such perfect grace, she said yes.
I asked the little girl her name, and it was so lovely. I can’t remember what it was, it was Spanish, and I don’t know the sounds and the language well enough to assign words a memory path, but it was a heavenly sounding name, very pretty, as I told her.
I told them both how happy it would make me if she could keep the little statue in her bedroom. Even now, as I think of her tonight, with the little angel girl peering blue-ly over the glowingly blue Baby Jesus, I am so happy. I am in tears, but I am so glad that child has that piece of plastic.
Her mother, and this is the most astounding part of this story, even told this precious child that it was alright to give me a hug–and I got the warmest, strongest, best hug I will get this Christmas. I feel so blessed because of this. What this teaches me is to do and be. To not hold back because something may seem to be odd or inappropriate.
At the same time, I feel somewhat guilty, because I asked something of her. I should not have done this, and should have given her the gift freely, but instead, I asked something in return. I asked her to always drive carefully. I just wanted to believe that maybe if she had the memory of that little blue Baby Jesus, safe in his manger crib, that she might think twice before doing something that would endanger her life. I think of how many times I looked at my baby Adrienne, so safe and peaceful in her little bed.
How can any mother imagine that her sleeping infant will someday die?
I hope that little girl will always be safe.
Life is not easy, but is is worth living, and it is the greatest gift of all.
I walked away, in tears, I am not proud of that, but that is how it was. Behind me, I could hear the lady who conversed with herself jubilantly pronouncing to anyone within earshot, like a balmy herald angel, ” It’s a Merry Christmas!”