Posted Jan 21, 2010 (My fist Christmas season without my sweetheart)
It is my tradition to give ornaments to our grandchildren each year. As I was searching through my collection, I came across one that I had totally forgotten about. It was one I bought a couple years ago, and finding it set me into an emotional tailspin. It was a friendly, smiling bear equipped with hiking boots, a large backpack and bedroll, high stepping as he moved forward. When I purchased it, my plan was to save it for the year my Sweetheart accomplished his life long dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT). I crumbled in a pool of tears at its’ discovery.
As I thought about it, although Buck didn’t have the opportunity to make his 2,174 miles trek, as he so desired to do someday; I realized he is able to hike the footpaths of heaven instead! What glorious WOWS he must be experiencing now: an indescribable view in every direction! A physical body that would slow him down does not encumber him, and I’m thinking there aren’t any annoying or biting insects to deal with either.
|My Almighty Trail ornament for Buck and his Jesus Is The Best Gift Of All ornament for me.|
So my precious Bofren, I’m asking the Lord to convey this message to you. Your Girfren had a gift for you this year too. I decided that this is indeed the year we will celebrate your AT hike, although you will probably never reach a finish line like Mt. Katahdin here on earth, because you will have all of eternity to explore, and countless surprises around every turn! I’m certain you are seeing sights that we couldn’t have imagined in our wildest dreams. Those ideas plus the realization that you are now enjoying the presence of the Lord, face to face, brings JOY to my heart whenever I reflect on those wonderful thoughts.
I miss you so much, and not having you here at my side is very painful sometimes, especially as I go through my “firsts” without you! I want you to know that the Lord and our family and friends are taking such good care of me. Although sadness visits often, I don’t stay there for long; I know you wouldn’t want me to. When I remember to look up and share my pain with the Lord, He restores the PEACE that I enjoy most of the time! I am so thankful for that precious gift.
You know how I always write on your ornaments? Well, this year was no different. I wrote: Bofren’s AT Journey along the bottom of your gift, only the letters AT have a different and special meaning. You are enjoying an experience far better than traveling the Appalachian Trail. Instead, your ornament represents the ALMIGHTY TRAIL and I am so happy for you! I’m sure, when The Lord calls me home someday, you will have so many wonderful places to show me, and all our loved ones who follow us. Until that day arrives, I’m moving forward with the Lord’s help and strength, and with the love and support of all those who love us. You are greatly missed by all of us!
In a spring entry, shortly after my Bofren went HOME, I shared about Buck’s tendency to wait until Christmas Eve to shop for my ornament. One of my most potent emotional meltdowns took place when I found a bag with two ornaments that Buck had purchased just a few days before his heart attack, and tucked away in his closet for this Christmas season. I rewrapped them in tissue paper, just as I had found them and put them away until I packed for my stay with Sarah. I brought one wrapped ornament to open on Christmas day. I will save the second one for 2010. I couldn’t remember what Buck’s gift to me looked like, so it was still a surprise when I opened it on Christmas evening.
It was a flat, ceramic, gift box shape with a red bow on top. It was light green, decorated with holly leaves and Jesus’ name was written across the box with red lettering. I will forever treasure this earthly gift from my Sweetheart! His gift symbolized what was most important to him. Buck’s ornament made it clear that he already understood that Jesus is the BEST GIFT we can ever possibly have, regardless of which side of heaven is our residence!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23: 6