Christmas 2015 I wrote: “This is my trunk-- completely full. The contents include a diaper bag, my luggage, the kids' clothes, and lots of American holiday excess (aka Christmas presents). When I see this tonight the major thing I feel is overwhelmed. I am thankful for the time we had at my mom's house this week, which is the reason we have bags that were packed. I am thankful for the children who necessitate clothes and diapers. I am thankful for the unnecessary but fun tradition of presents at Christmastime. I am thankful for the time with Chris' family.
But-- when you're a widow-- this is a big task. I got home. I changed two kids into nighttime diapers. I brushed two sets of teeth. I changed two girls into pajamas, gave many hugs and kisses, said lots of "I love you's", and put two girls in bed. I spent over 20 minutes unloading the trunk. I put the dirty laundry in the wash. Now I have another hour or so to go before things are put away. Things that were simple tasks when I had someone here to help me are not so simple anymore... and it's not as if it makes me sad. It's not like I want to cry or scream or anything dramatic. It's tiring. I just wish I had a helping hand sometimes-- and I pray that some day God will grant me that again.”
That was my second Christmas as a mother of two, also my second Christmas as a widow. The next two Christmases were similar, though the children did potty train so at a certain point diapers were no longer a factor.
This year was different. I left my mom’s house well after the girls’ bedtime with exhausted kids and a trunk full of stuff... but my boyfriend followed in his car. He helped unbuckle the kids and usher them into the house. He helped carry everything in from my trunk. He assisted with getting grumpy girls ready for bed and all tucked in. My neck and back were knotted up and spasming in pain, so he carried the full laundry basket to the basement for me so I could start a load. I threw the laundry in and got it going.
We went to the living room and he worked out some of the knots in my neck and shoulders. My pain lessened considerably. We talked about the day; how blessed we felt to have spent Christmas together. Then we said “goodnight” and “I love you” and he left to go home.
This blessing took me by surprise... and I am so thankful for it. I have a man with a servant’s heart and nothing could make me feel more loved than that.