Here’s a bit of Scottie Christmas for you and yours ….
A Christmas Poem
Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
There was barking and snuffling because of a mouse.
All I Want for Christmas
All I want for Christmas is a treat to eat,
a treat to eat, just a treat to eat.
If I could only have just a treat to eat,
then I could wish you Merry Christmas.
The Friendly Beasts
Jesus our brother, kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus our brother, kind and good.
“I,” said the Scottie, black and warm,
I snuggled their feet on Christmas morn;
They won’t hurt my baby who’s just born.”
“I,” said the Scottie, black and warm.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
With Love from Jack and Spec
My mom passed away 29 years ago today. I was in seminary in Nashville and she was in Oklahoma. We had learned during the summer that her brain tumor had grown back and was inoperable. My mom wanted me to stay in school rather than come home for the duration of her life, so I decided to become an expert on death. I enrolled in Pastoral Care for the Sick and Dying. I read books like May Sarton’s The Reckoning. I wrote poetry and did art about death and how I felt.
Mom was cared for at home by Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, and many, many people from Grace United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. At some point she was moved to the hospital where she lived for several months before she died. (I guess hospice care had not come to Oklahoma yet.) In October of that year, Dad called to say I might want to come to see her while she was still conscious. I flew home, all ready to have meaningful conversations about life and death and whatever Mom wanted to talk about.
I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but it didn’t happen. (Life is funny that way.) Mom couldn’t really talk … at least with words. Every so often she would say a word or two that let us know she was still in there. But she spoke with her eyes and with the squeeze of her hand.
One day, Grandma was there getting Mom dressed, fixing her hair, and putting on her make-up. We were trying to figure out the color of the sweater Mom was wearing. Mom said, “Fuchsia.” (Only thing she said that day.)
I wanted to do death “right.” And ultimately, I realize, I did. I was there with her and she was there with me. We sat in silence or I talked to her. I feasted my eyes on her and felt my feelings. When it was time for me to leave for the airport. I leaned over and hugged her. “I love you, Mom,” I said. She said, “I love you, darlin.” Those were the last words I she spoke to me.
Some weeks after that she slipped away into sleep. And on the 16th of November, 1983, she passed into the loving arms of God. I’m grateful beyond words for Mom.
I saw this pine cone on a walk yesterday near the Colorado cabin where I’m vacationing. I’ve been coming to this cabin all my life. Seeing the pine cone reminded me of how much I have always loved sharing this place with others.
When I was here as a child, I liked to write letters to friends telling them all about what I was doing on vacation. But before I mailed the letter, I would walk down to the river and pick out a beautiful little pine cone to include in the envelope. I wanted my friends to hold a part of this beauty. I wrote “Hand Cancel” on the outside of the envelope, addressed and stamped it, and put the little pine cone in the envelope with my letter. I didn’t know until many years later that when the recipient opened my envelope, she found my letter — and — a pile of pine cone dust. It makes me chuckle to remember.
Now I guess I’m attempting to share this place digitally. And, I realize, that while it may not be a pile of pine cone dust that folks receive, it’s still not the same as being here.
I wish for you places of rest and beauty where you see, feel, smell, taste, hear the blessings of God’s creation.