Wednesday, December 25, 2013

20 years

On Dec. 25, 1993, Steve Damm asked me to marry him.

I said yes. Of course.

Twenty years later, nothing is how we expected it to be. Of course. It never is.

Still, two decades after I said yes, I feel treasured, loved and secure. And I pray that Cooper and Katie feel the same. 

One of my favorite quotes on Christmas, outside of Scripture itself, comes from one of my favorite authors, the late Madeleine L'Engle. 

Was there a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being, went with all his love into the womb of a young girl, and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song, and the angels clapped their hands for you? 

We, the children of God, are all treasured, loved and secure. I am forever thankful for the mystery and wonder and awe that is the birth of Christ -- and for God's love for us all represented in that tiny baby.  

Merry Christmas!
Christmas cousins: Katie, Cooper, Molli & Brooke
Christmas Eve: Uncle Jim, Tyra, Betty, Katie, Cooper & Jim 
Christmas Day: Betty, Katie and Jim
Christmas Day: Tyra, Cooper and Uncle Jim

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Missing in so many ways

After more than four years of living without Steve, there are still multiple moments that I'm struck by how much we miss him.

For example, just from the past few weeks:

When Cooper, Katie and I sat in the front row at Foundation United Methodist Church in Temple for my mom's memorial service

When we were visiting with the Pry-Beckas and Will asked Cooper a goofy question and Cooper didn't speak -- only replied with a total Steve Damm smirk

When I learned that Katie has dyslexia (though I know she will be fine and that we are fortunate that she already compensates well for her learning disability)

When I rediscovered an old lab report from chemotherapy days

When hilarious/shocking/heartbreaking/uplifting moments happen at school and I want to  tell him

When Katie received awards for a poem and pastel drawing for this year's PTA Reflections contest

When Cooper helped a woman at Tom Thumb, and our cashier praised his kindness until the tips of his ears turned red

When there are overlapping meetings/appointments/practices and we need logistical help

When the seventh-grade science fair project is due

When the Christmas music at church is so powerful that it brings tears to my eyes

When I'm re-watching Anchorman in anticipation of the (quite possibly awful) sequel

When we're hanging Christmas ornaments that tell dozens of stories of the past 20 years

When I remember that 20 years ago this Christmas we were engaged

When Katie tells me she can't remember his voice

When Cooper asks questions about how much treatment Steve had for his cancer because he didn't know at the time and/or doesn't remember

Of course, all of those moments don't crowd out the joy of our days. I simply live with the absence instead of fighting it or ignoring it. And I get to live with the two best reminders of Steve.

Merry Christmas!