Deep in December

Five years ago today, our traditional Christmas dinner party with friends. We did not know it was the last time we would all be together at Christmas.  December 21, 2008

Five years ago today, our traditional Christmas dinner party with friends.
We did not know it was the last time we would all be together at Christmas.
December 21, 2008

“Deep in December it’s nice to remember
Although you know the snow will follow
Deep in December it’s nice to remember
Without a hurt the heart is hollow…”

— (Lyricist) Tom Jones, from The Fantasticks

I grew up listening to this lovely song, and Jeff and I saw the staged musical on one of our first dates.  Although the message of its words rang true to me in my youth, I did not fully understand them until recent years.

Holidays are fraught with bittersweet memories of times forever gone.  Whether the years we remember are recent or decades ago, no small part of their poignancy is the sense of how unaware we must have been; how little we sensed that these hours and days would soon vanish, never to fully return.  The irony is that we can lose ourselves in these ruminations while even now, the days that are passing may well be times we will someday look back on with an equally strong feeling of nostalgia.

I have told Jeff I hope and believe we will look back on this Christmas season as the time when everything changed; when we felt he was given his life back, with a fair chance of living far beyond the “two years with treatment” predicted over a year ago.  Of course, any number of things could happen to change that.  Knowing this, we cherish each day and savor each moment to the fullest extent possible.

Look around you today, at the people, places and events of your life you value most.  Today they are yours!  Even as we think with wistful gratitude of times that have passed, I hope we will embrace the beautiful, ephemeral present, with all its joys and sorrows.

One year ago today

As if it cost a fortune

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Susan

    So wise, Julia. What a joyful photo! I’m sorry there weren’t many more Christmases with Jeff. Memories are so strong this time of year, which is a blessing but can make sorrow more acute.

    • Susan, as I was telling the other Susan here, I am thankful to have only recently discovered the cache of videos from our 2010 Christmas party. There is so much sorrow, yes, but also a profound feeling of joy that we had such times at all. They truly were magical, a divine gift that I hope was only a preview of better things to come, in boundless fellowship with God and each other in the next life! Thanks for being here to share the joy and sorrow with me.

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