To Noel, on our Christmas Holiday

25 Dec

From 2011:

I know my husband “stalks” my Facebook page as he just told me he loved my note this week about our Christmases in Germany!  He would love to be on FB but thinks it takes too much to keep up his own page, so he uses mine.

I know he will find this so here goes.  Merry Christmas, darling!

I want to thank God, at year’s end, for our many, many blessings, individually and as a family, in our twenty-two years of marriage.  We are so wondrously blessed and, no, I can’t explain any reason why we should merit such grace as God has bestowed on us.  I am aware this is a hard, hard time for many and don’t want to appear to believe that we are somehow entitled to our good jobs and nice house that doesn’t face foreclosure.  Many others have done exactly the same things we have done, with different results.  And we are sensitive to that, and to helping where we can help.

Nonetheless, I am grateful.  With my latest checkup, I have beaten cancer for almost four years post-diagnosis.  Next year will be the big celebration.

We have beaten the deck that was very stacked against us in staying married with a special needs child.  I was astonished to read this week that the divorce rate among our type of family runs higher than 80%.  There is a lot to be said for just going the distance.  No, we have not always agreed on what is appropriate for our son’s development, but . . . we didn’t give up, isolate, build in excuses to push each other away.  We have persevered and, in the process, have discovered a richer love than we ever thought was possible.

We have discovered that a shared set of values is a very good thing.  In our case, that is two sets of parents who both worked their way up from some really hard circumstances, always believing that the next generation could do even better than they did.  And they all stayed married, too.

We have discovered that shared interests are nice, but not necessary.  Not to mention, they can be cultivated along the way!  When I married Noel in 1989 and the World Cup came along in 1990, I didn’t realize I was expected to sit and watch the matches, even on German television where I couldn’t much understand the commentary.  Then there were World Cups in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, and finally a summer ago when, okay, I did sleep in the recliner through many of the early matches, but I stayed awake for all the semis and the final, didn’t I, Noel?  Yup, I love soccer now, too.

Meanwhile, Noel will attend Messiah Singalongs with me and just actively listen (last night) or watch chick flicks with me.  When he finds Youtube videos that he knows I will find beautiful, he comes down from his office and puts them on whatever screen is nearest me.

Yes, along with celebrating Christ’s birth, it is also time to celebrate all that is right and good in our lives.  I know all of my friends have their own individual lists of things to sharpen their “attitude of gratitude.”  As for me, I love you, Jesus, and I love you, Noel (you, too, Joey, don’t feel left out because I wrote about Daddy!).


One Response to “To Noel, on our Christmas Holiday”

  1. Noel dawes December 25, 2012 at 9:56 PM #

    Lovely testimony, Mary, from another English Noel! It was good to read!

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