The Day After

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 Posted by Lezlie Winberry

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The “Day After” can be a let down in many ways. It doesn’t just pertain to the Christmas season. It’s like that climb to the top of a mountain: lots of preparation, excitement, and muscle ache along the way. Once on top, the celebration climaxes. But it’s quickly dampened by the glance down toward the dreary return. I remember my hardest such look back.
            It was December 21st, 1989, early morn. Grinch easily could have stolen Christmas, if I’d let him. My almost two-year-old daughter slipped into a peaceful comma and passed into the arms of her heavenly Father, four days before Christmas. Determined not to let her death interfere with the acknowledgment of the Savior’s birth, we held her memorial the day after Christmas. Because of her long struggle with a rare cancerous disease, her memorial celebrated her home-going. But reality hit thereafter.
            I pushed through my first two years of intense grief, and then God gifted me. He touched me with uncontrollable laughter during a weekly prayer meeting I attended. No one knew what to do; it was so uncharacteristic of me, the serious-quiet weeper—to burst out in such laughter. But God knew. You see, I’d been trying to fill my empty arms with a new baby to no avail.Yet, two months later, I was pregnant. And instead of being born on his due date, January 14th, Michael Cole entered the world four minutes after midnight, New Year’s Day, 1992. While my daughter died four days before Christmas, my youngest son, two years later, ushered in the newness of the “days after.”
            I have a lot to be thankful for. The Grinch of the holidays holds nothing to the Gifter of Christmas! Psalm 30:5b puts into perspective the day after for me: “Weeping may tarry for the night, but (a shout of) joy comes with the morning.”

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