Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Spirit of Christmas

Christmas has been a time of healing for me, and I think for the rest of the family too.

We decided to celebrate for two reasons : Mom would have wanted it, and I felt Dad needed to have lots of activities to perk him up.

Dad has been falling ill a lot. Nothing serious, just persistent flu and cough that lingers and keeps recurring. He goes to bed very early and doesn't go out as often. He gets tired easily.

But over the last two weekends, I'm so happy that Dad has responded well. With each meal, he seems more and more relaxed. Last night, we were all laughing at a ridiculous TV3 drama while we were waiting for dinner to be served at Unique Seafood restaurant. On New Year's Eve, he spoke passionately about the pyramids in Egypt and how he wants to go there in 2010. He was alive and radiant! He also wants to visit Angkor Wat. Yay! Is this his spiritual journey? Hmmm...

The power of family closeness is so healing. It's amazing! Mom always knew this. That's why she would always unite us and comfort us through organising endless meals together. We don't really do anything special : just meet again, eat again, plan for the next meal, and go home feeling a little warmer, a little closer. So simple and yet so healing.

One night after a dinner at home with Uncle Tommy, Aunty Sweet, and my cousins, a white butterfly came in to the house. It flitted and hovered over everything, from the kitchen to mom's altar to dad. It was just flying around, as if checking on everything. Sonny smiled and said "Guess who?" and immediately Dad replied "Mummy".

Two more nights since then, the white butterfly has come in and checked on things. Is it Mom spending Christmas and New Year with us? Os is there a sudden boom in white butterfly population in my neighbourhood?

Last night, Sky pounced on the butterfly but we managed to save it. It rested outside the window for a while, then flew in again. I gently caught it in my hands and went to release it from the balcony. Guess what??? It wouldn't leave my palm! It just clung on with a persistence that reminded me of how mom used to hold my hand so tightly and wouldn't let go.

I usually dream of Mom about once a month, or once in 6 weeks. Between Christmas and New Year, I dreamt of her twice :) I can't remember what happened in the dreams, but I have clear vivid images of mom looking young and happy. And I woke up with the happiest, warmest feeling of love filling my heart. Haven't felt that in a while.

This season has been such an emotional roller-coaster. One moment, I'm happy and the next, I'm grieving. I'm still sad that mom isn't here physically, I really miss her physical presence, but I'm so happy that we're doing ok. I'm so thankful that the family is staying close and warm.

For a while that seemed like such a difficult thing to do. We were all so busy with our separate lives and activities. But we all pulled together and made it work. I'm so thankful that we are all aligned in this. It's Mom's legacy.