Monday, December 20, 2010

A big confront - holiday cards

Madeline, Ben, Marissa, Bob - August 14, 2010

Holiday cards and greeting cards in general have been difficult since Paul died. Before it was always easy to sign them with all our family names: Madeline, Bob, Paul, and Ben. And for a very long time after he died, I just couldn’t sign Madeline, Bob, and Ben – if I sent out cards at all. It just didn’t seem right.

Also I certainly wasn’t up for sending a family photo with our holiday cards like the many cards we receive every year. I think the last time I sent out a holiday photo card was in 1993, six years before Paul died.

That is until this year. I bit the bullet this year and sent out a holiday photo card that shows our new family of four: Madeline, Ben, Marissa, and Bob. And I sent it out with joy. Marissa joined our family in August, and we couldn’t be happier.

2 comments:

Janice Phelps Williams said...

... and what a beautiful photo!

Madeline, I am sure your friends and family understood those years when no card was sent. I think it is wonderful that you are sharing these emotions and your family history with others who may be facing this heartbreak right now, or still...

Many years ago I wrote a ballad about Anne Frank with the lines: "My God he hears all of my cries / they fall like raindrops on his chest. / And I am sure that he, will save them all for me, / to return like dew on Israel's grass. / And I am sure that he will save them all for me, / in a bottle that he keeps at his right side. / With all the tears I shed on the pages that you read / when as a young girl I was forced to hide."

I haven't thought of this song in years, but as soon as I read your post, it popped into my mind and so I will trust that all of your tears are noticed and kept by God, by your friends and loved ones, by everyone who knew your beloved Paul.

And now, your open hearts have embraced a new family member, new friends, new connections that have taken root, sprouted and grown into beautiful "plants" --- perhaps nourished with your tears. For I am sure you bring a bittersweet notice to every relationship "after." I'm so sorry for the price paid, exacted, for this perspective. I'm so thankful you are sharing your thoughts with us.

Many blessings as 2010 ends and 2011 begins.

Madeline Sharples said...

Thank you so much , Janice, and for sharing your beautiful ballad about Anne Frank. I still cry for her.

I do look forward to the new year though 2010 has been quite awesome.

xoxo,
Madeline