"Sue Christmas"

The title above probably should have been one of the nicknames I had for my wife. Sue loved giving, but Christmas was her annual grand crescendo. She would set aside funds monthly throughout the year to satisfy my desire for staying on budget. 

She was in the hospital last Christmas, where she had been since September. Only shadows of her former vibrant personality remained. Consequently, I had no desire to put up a Christmas tree at home, and the gifts I gave fit into envelopes. Sue would not have been very happy with me had she known. She passed away in May. Again, I can’t bring myself to put up a tree, and envelopes may be in vogue again this year. Maybe next Christmas…. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t add that I have a problem with how most of us celebrate Christ’s birth. A survey sited that 70% of adults feel things have gone awry. Even “Sue Christmas” felt very stressed. She would tell me, “I don’t enjoy Christmas until after Christmas day.” I hope to find a balance that honors Christ and Sue’s memory.

Years ago Sue and I decided that our gift to each other would be an after Christmas get-a-way. I found the following on a card she once gave me.

Dear Stan, I can’t wait to go off with you! You are my true soul mate! I love being with you and pray that God gives us many more good years together. I love you more than life!

We thought we had decades left with each other. My mother died 16 weeks after I lost my wife. Death is a painful reality, but we can have hope because of Christmas and the Cross!

Cherish those you love! Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Remember those who are alone, and don’t forget those who are aged and in care communities. Christmas is God’s gift to us. May His love define us this Christmas, and always until He calls us Home.

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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