A snowy wintry weekend in Buffalo and thoughts turn to Christmas past and my Grief Monster was lurking behind every corner. I kept him at bay for the most part and there were actually times we cuddled on the couch together as memories surfaced that brought more smiles than tears. On Sunday when I went on Facebook the picture posted here was a Facebook memory from 6 years ago. I want to share the story.

My husband, Dennis, was a notorious non Christmas shopper. He did most of his shopping Christmas Eve and because he was always in a hurry his presents lacked much thought. (I actually devote a chapter to this in my book Songs of My Life…Slightly Out of Tune called Don’t Stop till You Get Enough.) We lived on a budget many years so decorating the outside of our home for Christmas was make shift to say the least. I lusted over the homes decorated from top to bottom in Christmas spirit and did my best with what I had. Six years ago Dennis picked me up from the airport and was grinning like the Cheshire cat. I knew something was up but he would not tell me what. When we pulled around the corner I was admiring the decorated houses and noticed one at the end of the street decorated from top to bottom. As we got closer I realized with shock that it was our home that was so brilliantly adorned. Grinning from ear to ear, my husband shouted Merry Christmas and gave me a big kiss. I was so happy and so surprised that he had pulled this off! My best gift and what a wonderful memory that is helping me to keep smiling when smiles can be hard to come by. I know there is no accident that this post came up. A little shout out from Heaven that he is with me and our family this Christmas season.