December 18th by Jackie Trottmann
"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
Christmas Past, Present, and Future
It's been a thirty-two-year tradition for me to host Christmas dinner with turkey and all the fixings…
The year was 2015. This verse came to mind as I was setting the table. The reality set in that one chair would be missing that year. My mom would not be with us at the dinner table.
I received a call on December 9th from EMT’s telling me that my mother had fallen outside her home and had either broken her hip or leg. Robert and I rushed to the hospital. She would have surgery the next day to repair a broken femur. At the age of 90, with congestive heart failure, diabetes, and asthma, a lot of prayers were sent. She pulled through the surgery and had another productive six years.
The month of December had become a blur. Every day was spent trekking to the hospital and taking on the role of health care advocate. It was exhausting. There were very few presents that year. There was no time to get our traditional, real Christmas tree.
On Christmas Eve, however, we received a beautiful gift, a rare, white Christmas. It was a wet snow which covered all the trees and shrubs making the city look like a Currier and Ives Christmas card.
There will be a lot more empty chairs at the dinner table this Christmas. Loved ones come in and out of our lives, some in the form of family members and other in the form of friends. There is, however, one constant, and that is God's love for us. Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. May we find joy in our fond memories of the past, give thanks for the present moment, and know that God loves us always as we take our journey of faith into the future.