And strangely without weight,
Was with me in the night
When everyone had gone
And the garland of pure light
Stayed on, stayed on.
--May Sarton from "Christmas Light"
As we come to the close of the year my thoughts turn to the caregivers among us. What does Christmas look like for those who, more often by circumstance, than by choice, have been thrust into the long term role of caring for loved ones in poor health? For caregivers the promised joy of the holiday season is often constrained by a sense of responsibility to their loved ones, longing for way things were and the unrelenting cold and night.
For the caregivers in our world I imagine the strange isolation felt, a sense of being in limbo and a loneliness experienced in the presence of others who are not going through the same challenges. I’ve known caregivers to also experience another form of isolation, felt in the presence of their charges, who are unable to effectively communicate their own wants, needs and appreciations, and sometimes even act against their own best interests.
To the caregivers, as well as those receiving their care, I give my most special blessing--be well in 2019. More than that, I wish all caregivers a sense of joy and respite in the knowledge that you are seen and you are loved! You are not alone in this work, there are many who care about you too.
As 2018 becomes 2019 I hope caregivers will steal away moments to appreciate the signs of the holy, like the lights of the decorated Christmas Tree, or the battery powered candles in window sills. Allow yourself a moment’s enchantment with the brilliance of the color Red against the backdrop of snow, or savor the sweet intensity of the sugar cookie. And on cold and clear nights, look up at the radiant stars! Their pure light surely points to that transcendent benevolence that inhabits our cosmos and holds you in the palm of their hand.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
In Faith, Rev. Daniel Gregoire