Monday, December 3, 2012

Oh I Believe. Do you?

Saturday night, I went to the PNC Arena (formerly RBC Center in Raleigh) to see my favorite band,  Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  Folks, if you've never seen it.  Pay the money.  Their musicians, singers, light show...all of it will leave you captivated.   My family will tell you I constantly listen to their music.  And sugarbear will get in my car and say "Turn it to one of Memaw's favorite songs".  And we all abide.  Oh yes,  "Ornament" or "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo)" or any of the other great songs...Just pick one.  And you know....

Christmas simply can't begin until I see TSO!

Anyway, this year they brought us "The Lost Christmas Eve".    The story, narrated and mixed in with TSO's music (mainly from the CD above), made me cry like a baby.  It was a story of love and death.  Of pain and suffering.  Of forgiveness and reconciliation.

It was about a man who lost his wife during childbirth.  Oxygen had been cut off to the child so long that the doctors deemed the newborn to a life of pain, suffering, and degeneration, and likely death.  The father immediately gave the child up to become a ward of the state because he saw no viable use for his life.  And he became very, very bitter to God and life itself.  He stopped believing...

But 17 years later, on Christmas Eve, he wandered upon a child at a toy store peeking in the window.  And the child asked,  "Do you have children?"  NO! The father replied adamantly.  

But something triggered and he just had to  call the institution to find out if the child he had so willingly given up, had in fact lived.  Yes he had.  The father was told the boy had learned to walk, to understand, but couldn't talk.   And that his son was working at the hospital with infants.  
 That couldn't be true!  He had to see for himself.  So he did.

The father found his son sitting in a rocking chair with a sleeping baby in his arms.  A baby that was born with an addiction.  The son looked up and knew who he saw was his dad.  And all those years of hardness, pain, and loneliness melted.  The father picked up another child laying in an incubator and sat down beside his son and rocked. heart jumped.  The tears were falling.  It was hard to control them.  How easy we humans discount life just because it doesn't fit the perfect mold we have in our minds!  Or the timing isn't right.   All those babies, there in the ward, could have been aborted.  Thrown away.  Left to die.  In essence, they were left to die.  But someone, or some being, nourished them.  And cared.  Like they did for the son, now 17 years old. 

That's where the story essentially ended.  Not the music.  No there was a second half of awesome entertainment.  I needed it after balling my eyes out.

How many stories like that happen all over America everyday?  I so easily, forget that others carry pain I cannot see.  Moms and dads have held children knowing they wouldn't make it. Wives have opened the door only to find out their brave soldiers were not coming home alive.  Kids have left home after finding themselves pregnant, scared, and no where to turn.  Dads and moms have witnessed the other walking out.  Leaving them to fend for themselves.  Oh yea, I am blessed. 

My daughter basically never spent time in the hospital until the birth of my grandson.   A few ear infections along the way...but no broken bones like her brother.  And Sugarbear is so healthy and so smart.  It's amazing how much happiness he has brought to me.  The others can leave comments if they want.  I just know my life  hasn't been the same since that precious angel came here.  Pure gift from above.  I am so blessed.

And my son, who had a few broken bones and a couple of kidney surgeries while in elementary school, is healthy now.  We were scared when those high fevers came.  And worried until the Pediatric surgeon came to get us to tell us everything was ok.  And no matter what anyone tries to tell me, I know God was present during those long nights holding Chad's head while he threw up and hurt.  I know He was.   Oh yea, I am so blessed. 

My kids were almost perfect.  Not as perfect as sugarbear, and surely not as perfect as their grandparents thought they were...but almost.  Over time, our astonishment and wonder we experience with our kids when they are young, turns into expectations.  Rightfully so.  We just want them to have a better life than we did.  Even if our life was "A ok"!   We push them to find the best, be the best, and do their best in everything.  It's natural.  I don't care how much they hate it.  One day they will look back and say "my parents weren't so dumb after all".  Trust me, they will.  I miss Ms. Fannie...She's the smartest woman I ever knew.  Or should I say, barely knew?  I wished I had spent more time with her.  I miss my mama.

But it's still very easy to forget when our kids were little, and how they use to stare at the Christmas tree and adore the ornaments.  Sugarbear does that now.  

Oh I how I hope he never "stops believing".  He won't if Memaw or Pa or Nana or GG have anything to do with it.  You can take that to the bank.


So I honestly and proudly say...I believe.  I believe in God.  I believe He has my best interests at heart.  I believe He hears my prayers.  And I believe in Santa.  I believe in Santa because of what Santa represents.  He is a picture of the innocence of childhood and believing in something bigger than life.  He represents all those kids, even those left to live a life devoid of a mother's touch or dad's lap.  Yes...I believe.  

Santa will come see us on Christmas Eve, 2012.   He will find cookies and milk waiting too.  He will find that at the Barber house because we believe.  And I ask:

Do you?


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