Happiness at the Manger

Christmas Eve. It was finally here!
Given how fun, crazy and difficult this past week was, it was a little miracle we managed to pull ourselves together to make it to Christmas Vigil Mass. I love Mass every single Sunday, every single Mass grounds our week, strengthens our weak. Christmas Mass is heaven. Every Mass is.

 Our Ham and potato casserole was waiting at home…….and then it was time to get the natives to sleep, and one was quite a handful in all the excitement!

 As all our bleary-eyed, but very happy peeps fell into bed last , so tired that sugar plums couldn’t dance in their head. They were probably all melted, blobs on the floor! Sam, Agnes, Bernadetti and I, the last four still standing, finished up a few last dishes. Agnes suddenly did the unthinkable, pulling our her container of freshly made Coco~Peppermint kisses. So we lingered, we laughed; Lord we were punchy we were so tired!we giggled until our hearts were as bright as the shining little lights that graced the room. You know those days you are so tired you think you must have crawled up the stairs? This was one of those nights. Tired more tired than it ever was before. Still happiness was ours. Silence enveloped the house within minutes. No chatter, no laughing, no running, no doors. My eyes were held captive, held glued. As I looked it could not be helped. A photo of Bel sleeping in her hat, a beloved gift from someone at school just happened on automatic. Her Winter break (can’t call it Christmas you know😥) began Wednesday morning; she has taken that sweet hat off only to bathe!  

It was only when I was filtering this photo that something about Isabel struck me. It took me by surprise because Isabel is 13 years old. She also has a degenerative disease that already causes intellectual impairments so that her mind is that of a toddler. Sometimes that presents pretty daunting challenges for her, and for all of us. Most of the time she loves smiling and hugging, dancing and playdough. She has quirk that we find almost miraculous as she can sing along with anything you play ~ even when she has never heard it before! My eyes were held captive, watching her as she dreamed of presents and “tookies”! Her little chubby fingers, even the chub in her cheeks. Those perfect sweet lips, how sweetly she nestled, the little wisps of hair…..13 years old and yet this Christmas Eve she looked so much a baby, so innocent and pure. Quite unexpectedly, my heart could see a sweet little Babe lying in a manger. Peace filled my heart. 

That hat. This Babe. Such a sacred, Holy night.

Merry Christmas everyone!

4 thoughts on “Happiness at the Manger

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