For years I had promised myself that I would finish my Christmas shopping early but once again I had broken my promise. It seemed no matter how many times I told myself to avoid the Christmas rush and stress I always had a few last minute items to shop for.
As I pulled into the mall parking lot I could see that parking was going to be a challenge. I glanced to the left where I always parked. It was full so I turned right to continue my search for a place to park. My stress level increased as I drove and thought of Crystal.
It had only been six months since my youngest sister Crystal had died of cancer. I missed her terribly. It was the Christmas season and Crystal and I had had a tradition of meeting at the mall to shop together. I drove through the busy, over crowded parking lot fighting the tears with Crystal on my mind.
When I finally found a parking place it was at the far end of the mall. I didn’t mind the walk because it knew it would help me to regain my composure and walk off some frustration and emotion.
The minute I walked in I saw the most beautiful Christmas tree and it was full of beautiful white doves. I was drawn to this tree only to discover that it was the Hospice Christmas Tree. With a small donation you could purchase a dove with a card to place on the tree in memory of a loved one that had died. I was so thrilled to have this opportunity. Hospice had been wonderful to Crystal so this would not only give me an opportunity to give back to them but to do something for Crystal for Christmas. I carefully filled out the card, “ To my Beautiful Sister Crystal, I Love you and Miss You, Ginger” I was determined not to cry and mess up my makeup but the tears began to fill my eyes. I quickly dapped them so they wouldn’t run down my face. After carefully placing the dove on the tree I started through the mall feeling so much better.
All day people kept commenting on my Christmas spirit. I thought to myself, I must have really been glowing with God’s peace and the love I feel for God and the blessing of finding the Hospice Tree. This made me smile even more.
A few hours later, as I was washing my hands in the ladies room I looked in the mirror and began to laugh. I had really been glowing! I had not realized that I had glitter all over my face. The Hospice dove had had glitter on it and I had dapped the glitter all over my face when I tried to keep the tears from falling. I did something that I had not done for a while, I laughed out loud.
That day was a gift from the Lord to me when I needed a special touch from Him. This gift has grown into my own personal Christmas tradition. This year will be the eighteenth year of putting a dove on the Hospice Christmas Tree.
Please feel free to share this story with anyone who is hurting this Christmas because they miss their love one. I pray that it is a comfort to someone.This story is one of many published in the new book "Celebrating Christmas with Memories, Poetry,and Good Foof"
May I be the first to say, "Merry Christmas"?