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Share one another’s burdens this Christmas

Any human who has experienced life for a few decades, sometimes less, will be a part of those who recall memories. The good ones are much preferred over the sad ones with death tending to be the main character in perpetuating the nostalgic.

Change is another character that continually tampers with life — sometimes adding joy to our memories and other times robbing the joy.

Since both of my parents left this earth for eternal life, I’ve become more sensitive to those individuals who see the major holidays as harbingers of nostalgia. For many, the celebrations that delight the masses are cold reminders of what once was.

Just this week, we were in a group already enjoying Christmas music. Elvis’ golden voice began singing about how blue his Christmas would be without that special someone. It was music to all ears but one. She asked if another song could be played. This would be the first Christmas of 50-plus years without her spouse.

My own sentimental reminder came to me in a strange way. I was addressing a card to a friend from our previous home. The zip code was still a quickly retrievable set of numbers, but as I wrote them down, a wave of nostalgia rolled over me. And to think it was a simple zip code.

 It recalled home on our Etta hill, surrounded by giant boulders and red-leafed dogwoods. Kids and cousins were scattering leaves over the hillside as they feasted on Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Christmas trees glowed in the brisk night air, and the fireplaces crackled with freshly cut and split wood.

I leaned into the memory until reality faded it. However, it was enough to remind me again of how memories can lift or smother our spirits.

I’m certain that many more understand the challenge that Christmas memories bring to a large portion of individuals. It would benefit everyone’s Christmas if a deeper consideration of their grief would stir us to not only remember their sphere but be a “spirit-lifter” to them. Shared burdens are always lighter, especially at Christmas. 

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camille@datalane.net.