When Christmas of ’68 rolled around, I was afraid to go to sleep. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to ‘be a good girl for Mom and for Jesus’ and not cry when there wouldn’t be any presents under the tree, nor treat-filled stockings on our beds. Before I went to bed, I opened the tattered King James Bible that someone had given our family; my mom had given it to me—she knew I loved my Bible. I made sure it was open to the Christmas story so that I could read it as soon as I woke up that Christmas morning before going into the living room. When our older sister came to wake us up and inform us that Santa had come, I couldn’t believe it! But my parents had once again managed to create a special Christmas for their family and did so in spite of their own grief and the pain of Shawn not being there to celebrate with us.
During that time of chaos, the casket wasn’t the only thing closed: the hearts of most of my family had also been closed to God. Some of my older brothers turned to drugs and alcohol, and some of us turned to more socially-acceptable vices to deal with our pain. It was many years later before some of my older siblings and mom began seeking God, again.
Blessings & Peace
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)