Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

The first day of Christmas is almost over, only eleven more to go!

We had the opportunity of spending time with the Pollocks and the Phillips. Jeff and Lucie came for dinner Christmas Eve. Prior to eating they watched "It's A Wonderful Life" while Jonathan and I went to visit our friend, Joe, and his wife, Christine. Joe is now at a Hospice House here in Tacoma. Joe and Bryan began chemo at the same time last January. They both fought hard to the end and now we await Joe's passing. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

My mom and dad arrived today in time for a late morning breakfast. After clearing the table and straightening up, we began the process of opening the gifts under the tree. Amazingly, James fell asleep before we finished the job. It was a fun day full of laughter and delight. Bryan's picture, with his warm smile, sat on the mantle looking over all the festivities. He was not far from my thoughts. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a song on the radio:

Christmas In Heaven
2008 words and music by Jeremy Johnson and Paul Marino

December hasn’t changed
This town looks the same
They still light that tree in the city square
There’s red, white, and green shining everywhere
And I wish you were here
And I wonder . . .

Is the snow falling down on the streets of gold?
Are the mansions all covered in white?
Are you singing with angels Silent Night?
I wonder . . . what Christmas in Heaven is like

There’s a little manger scene
Down on Third and Main
I must have walked right by it a thousand times
But I see it now in a different light
Cause I know you are there
And I wonder . . .

Are you kneeling with shepherds before Him now?
Can you reach out and touch His face?
Are you part of that glorious holy night?
I wonder . . . .what Christmas in Heaven is like

At first, it was emotional for me to listen to this song, but when I thought about it I realized that it is always a Resurrection celebration in heaven!

I really do wonder what Christmas in heaven is like.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pilgrim Bible Christmas Caroling

Tonight is Pilgrim Bible's annual night of Christmas caroling. We go out into the community near where we meet and sing. Knocking on doors, we offer a flyer inviting those who answer to our Sunday services and then we wish them a Merry Christmas. This has been a favorite tradition of Bryan's during the past 20 years of ministry! He loved singing the carols and listening to the rich music of the season. At home, the Christmas music usually starts playing about the same time Cornhusker football is kicking off! This evening, all of my children, except for Grace, have gone to meet with the other families at church. Grace and I have remained home because she is running a fever and complaining of upset stomach. Needless to say, she is very disappointed.

To be honest, I know it is a providence of God, because I think it would be very emotional for me to remember all the years of cold, snow, rain, ice, pushing a stroller or waddling pregnant, singing and laughing all the way while Bryan led us in one carol after another increasing his pitch as the night wore on. Then, returning to the church for tea, coffee, hot cider or cocoa to discuss how well we were or were not received. Even last year, while it was cold and snowing, Bryan being thin and in pain, endured the elements to sing for a block or two. He about froze, and it took a long while to get him warm again, but he thoroughly enjoyed himself!

We wish you a Merry Christmas! We wish you a Merry Christmas! We wish you a Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One Month

I find it nearly impossible to believe Bryan has been gone for a month. Time does travel rapidly; life is a vapor. David and I were discussing this today. Eternity has no beginning and no end, thus, we all enter it at the same time; a deep theological discussion for another time.

God has so graciously carried us through this month. I am thankful for my children, my extended family, friends and even acquaintances who have blessed us in a variety of ways these past few days: hugs, notes, phone calls, flowers, sympathy cards, monthly financial support, meals, emails, Facebook posts and comments, the mortgage paid in full, visits from friends and family close (Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup) and far (Saskatchewan, California, Oregon, Utah, Maryland), food, contributions to the memorial fund (even from complete strangers), computer help, a new computer, sharing remembrances, crying with us, listening to us cry, sharing facial tissue, sharing scriptures, praying with us, praying for us ... we are loved! THANK YOU!

We have remained healthy, for the most part. James was ill last week, turned out to be a nasty ear infection. He is feeling much better now!

It has been a full week visiting with Jeanette, Priscilla and Alexis Bittner from Maryland. Jeanette helped me clean my room which had not been properly dealt with for two years! It looks and feels so good. She also went Christmas ornament shopping with me. Each year Bryan and I have purchased a new ornament for each child which they open on Christmas eve. Jeanette helped me make those difficult "perfect" decisions. We have had some good laughs and good cries. They leave tomorrow morning; it will be difficult seeing them go. Please pray for Jeanette as she is beginning her own battle with thyroid cancer.

James continues to remind us "Daddy died. Jesus. Heaven." It is so sweet! As a family, we are slowly memorizing the Book of James. We have had some great times around the dinner table with our verses. It always amazes me how fast little people can grasp difficult passages and I am also entertained by their sincere attempt at understanding. When my uncle was a boy he used to sing "Bringing in the Sheets," our hymnal titles that song "Bringing in the Sheaves." Most boys know about sheets, but just what is a sheaf? One of my children sang "Silent Night, Silent Night, Holy Scum" a few years ago while playing the piano. It was one of the few things I actually wrote down. As a mom, I think I will always remember, but I don't. That is a thought of mine now, that I will not remember everything about my husband, so I am trying to write it down when memories come to mind. It is important for my children, especially the younger ones, to have knowledge of who he was as a husband, father, pastor and friend!

I am wanting to put together a scrapbook with photos and remembrances of Bryan that we can look at so the younger children can know of him before cancer; Hannah, Grace, and James were all born after his initial cancer diagnosis, Esther and Daniel were 4 and 2, at that time. As friends and family, I would like for you to make contributions to this book. Do you have a funny story, a testimony, a vacation memory, anything that you think would build the real Bryan Pollock in the minds of my children? Please send it to be included in our scrapbook!

Brrr! It is cold and late (or early, depending on how you look at the clock)! Good night and God Bless!