This is going to be an interesting Christmas this year. Usually when we get together with my family for Christmas it’s a pretty big event. The house is full of kids and parents and grand parents and great grandparents (oh my)! This year though is going to be different.

My mother’s parents are both in a care facility this year because my Mamma fell and broke her hip. The poor thing did it in the middle of the night and no one found her until the morning. She’s doing pretty good now, and her spirits are high, but she is going through physical therapy and probably won’t be done by Christmas. My Grandfather (mom’s dad) got sick at the same time and he had to be hospitalized for a few days. He is now also in physical therapy and working to get better but also will most likely not be done by Christmas. Then for a while it appeared that neither of my dad’s parents would be able to come. After some time passed though my Grandpa will be able to make it out which is really nice.

With all the crazy things that have been going on this year it’s interesting that Christmas is going to be so quiet. Most of the time this is the one time of the year that I get to be with the extended members of our family. We sit around and talk, watch football, and play lots of games. Ever since I’ve been little that is how it’s been this time of year.

One of the things that has been really hard is watching my grandparents get old. I know that sounds weird, but for I was lucky to grow up with grandparents that were pretty young and pretty involved in our lives. I can remember working in my grandpa (on my mom’s side) shop over the summer and getting to spend lots of time learning and interacting with them. Now that their health is starting to go it really gets one to thinking about end of life issues.

No matter how much I tell myself that death is a natural part of life there is something greatly painful about watching my grandparents suffer so. The good thing about this though is that I’ve been able to have some very meaningful conversations over the last year which have been a real blessing. It can be a little odd to be talking about very serious spiritual things with your grandparents, but since I’m the seminary student (almost grad!) I understand it.

I know this post is a little on the rambling side and I apologize for that, but sometimes just talking through things, even on the internet, can be very helpful. For the first time that I can remember it’s going to be a small Christmas and that’s okay because I know that my family is loved even when not everyone can be there to celebrate.