Well, it’s Christmas again. And I have a message about this special day that I’d like to share. I cannot count the number of friends who have told me that the holidays are the worst days after the loss of a loved one. They are right. And if you’ve ever lost a loved one, you know just how right they are.
My daughter Samantha had a very close friend named Helen. She was her closest friend in life. On the Christmas Eve after Samantha died, Helen brought me a present and instructed me not to open it until Christmas Day. It was a poem, and although I could hardly read it through the tears, it had a special message. This was our first Christmas without all the children and grandchildren gathered around for our traditional breakfast. When it came time for me to offer grace, I asked each one to bow their heads, and the poem was my prayer. The poem seemed to be a message from the one who was missing from the table.
The poem is entitled “My First Christmas in Heaven.” I want to share it with you, and especially with those of you who are spending your first Christmas without a loved one. I hope it touches your heart as it did mine.
My First Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below,
With tiny lights like Heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear,
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music cannot compare with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you of the joy their voices bring
For it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me. I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away. We really aren’t apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones. You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I send you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above.
I send you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love each other, as the Father said to do,
For I cannot count the blessings or love He has for you.
So have a Merry Christmas, and wipe away that tear,
Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
George Lusby is the former Scott County judge-executive. “The Best of Crawfish and Minnows,” is available at the News-Graphic office.