Saturday, January 23, 2016

the story that never ends...

 The other day I was thinking of the Nativity scene for some reason and I got a bit misty.What is it about that story that never fails to enchant even this older, weary heart? There were efforts again this year to remove the creches from City Hall lawns.This year saw the Festivus tree with beer cans go up in Florida and as a new twist, satanists in Oklahoma demanded equal time for a statue of Satan.. They won and I guess it went up.Shudder.As Steve Martin sings,:"Atheists don't have songs", so I don't know what happened around that display.

  I can see her now in her small clean room with a bed by the window. My father's picture is on all wooden to her.Her grey hair is short and curly and even in her eighties, her face is open like a child's. She is propped up in a chair with a pillow behind her back, waiting.A book lays in her lap and she has come to a place of contentment in the bright, bustling environment of a nursing home.

 My mother read books and prayed the rosary faithfully.She prayed two each day,one for for my sister and one for my husband to stop smoking.She had smoked and knew the damage, the frightening inability to get enough air, so she prayed.My husband tried hypnosis, self-talk and so on, to break a habit acquired at 13 years.All failed until that one day, 20 years ago, when he just quit.Period.

 If every Nativity scene is destroyed, every written tale of the Birth burned, every mention of it banned as hate speech , still it will exist because there is a hole in each human heart that is bare, hollow without this story.

While my mother sat in that chair, she would get very anxious.She was waiting for the nurse to come with her breathing treatment.It seems that it was timed and the medicine always came after her asthma started up again.She would feel panic rising and the only thing that helped was this: a pencil sketch that my son, at age 12, had made for her.It was drawn on a sheet of notebook paper and took up the whole page, what with the people, cows, sheep, angels, baby and a star. So many times she told me that gazing at that scene, which loving hands had made, calmed her when nothing else would.

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