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This Blessed Year

it’s Monday morning, almost 8 AM on Christmas Eve. The flurries outside the window are spaced far apart, falling so slowly that time takes a deep breath in and pauses.

I want to my firstborn, my adult child sleeping in the hospital gurney beside my chair, to wake up. The flurries will turn to flakes later, and we have a long drive home. But in this breathing room, the slow white dots force me to mark this moment.

This week and tonight, much of the world is celebrating light —hope — in the darkest time of the year. For me, this week of long night and, ironically, longer days hasn’t been about hope. To be sure, there has been hope for the healthy life my son will reclaim next year, but mostly, especially in the darkness, there has been thanks for the gift of this awful, this blessed year.

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