Christmas will be different this year for most of us. Families with gather at a distance, precautions will force us to hold back on the usual hugs, and we will celebrate in new ways. It is not so unusual for me as my Christmases changed significantly when my mother passed away many years ago. I was 23 years old. She had raised me as a single parent for the ten previous years. Although I was newly married the tone and meaning of Christmas was inextricably altered.
Years later, when I became a writer, my mom was never far from my thoughts. Had we grown older together, I wondered what she would have wanted for me, gifted me. As I finished my second roadSIGNS book, I could feel her whispering to me and so I wrote to myself the letter I believed she would write to me if she were still alive. As my gift to you for the season, I would like to share this letter.
My Darling Daughter;
I have written this with great care for it is the legacy I leave behind and wish to offer you. These are the gifts I wish to offer you.
I give to you the Gift of Courage – an invitation to lead your life without fear; an invitation to pursue your dreams and live the life you choose free of the opinions and desires of others. It is an invitation to believe in yourself, never doubting that what you can conceive and believe you can achieve. Lastly it is an invitation to grab the brass ring of life and never let it go.
Secondly, I give you the Gift of Love – of love you will always have from me even though our journey together in this lifetime has come to an end; of love for yourself – perhaps the most important gift of all; of love for others which I encourage you to give often and freely; and of love for life and all that you touch during your time here on earth.
Daughter, I also give you the Gift of Grace – the joy of living full out, free of the burden of guilt, or blame or shame; an invitation to liveyour life forgiving yourself of all sins you believe you have committed against others while also releasing the sins you believe others have committed against you. Lastly the Gift of Grace allows you to see and celebrate the abundance in your life and to express gratitude for all of life’s magnificence.
And finally, my darling daughter, I give you the Gift of YOU – of recognizing your own beauty, your great gifts, and, perhaps most importantly, your flame, the spirit that burns deep within you. Show this light to the world – this is the Gift of Authenticity.
Betty, will you do one thing for me? (And this is my last request of you). Live these gifts as I ask and as you travel through life, give these gifts freely to others; for you see my daughter, it is in the living and the giving that the true meaning of life resides.
This season my friends, I endow upon you these same four gifts with the request that you also offer them to others, for you see there is nothing as miraculous as embracing courage, offering love, living in grace and joy, and celebrating ourselves. These are the true gifts, the ones we carry with us everyday, the ones that define us.
Wishing you a season of joy and gratitude. Until next time, next year….