“Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10) describes the conflict we find ourselves in this Christmas season. Two years ago yesterday, on 12/12/12, we found out that Mom had terminal lung cancer.
Mom’s favorite time of the year was always Thanksgiving and Christmas. She loved her fuzzy socks, hot tea, and a cozy chair by the fire with a good book. When Matthew began to get to know our family, he said that we have more traditions than the Catholic Church! We love being together as a family and celebrating the birth of Jesus in so many different ways. In some ways, missing Mom during this season has felt even more painful than before. So in this season—and every day—we try to find small bits of joy, even in our pain.
We are so grateful for the memories. Typically, it’s the little things that bring joy. It’s ringing the bell and singing crazy Christmas tunes for the Salvation Army. (Our philosophy has always been: if we sing loud enough, no one will notice we are off tune!) It’s the memories of Christmas Eve tea parties—a tradition we’ve had since we were little. It’s the Secret Santa gift exchange we’ve done every year. (Somehow Mom always figured out who had who before we even drew names!) These memories bring a smile to our face even through our tears. We wish we could do all of these things with her still here. But we are grateful that we made time to be together as a family in the first place. The memories are priceless.
This time of year is so hard. But we hold on to the memories we had with Mom and the promise that we will get to be with her again. (We hope it’s soon! Come, Lord Jesus!) We are sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.
Maybe you don’t have many traditions, but the Sauder’s want to encourage you to make sure to spend extra time together as a family this season. You will never get those moments back!
Kurt, Matt, Olivia, Drew, Ivy and Ellie