The Christmas Toast 3:50
I can still hear the music of his whistling drifting through the house. The gentleness of his voice as he toasted the season. The love that would echo in the silence! The dream that would choose to live forever!
I can’t help feeling that he knew this would be his final Christmas…his last Christmas where he could embrace all of we who held so tightly to his love…and…for some reason thought he would always be there.
He not only toasted the season: he toasted life…he toasted memory…he toasted all that was…all that was yet to be…and all that had been.
He spoke of Christmas that never ended! A playground for love that could and would stretch through all seasons and find solace…in the heart of everyone.
There were snow flakes in his voice…and the warmth of a summer song in his words! There was the sweetness of the beloved carols in the melody of his meaning…and the spring breeze that went beyond what yet we could not see.
He toasted the child in Christmas…the innocence where true love is not afraid to venture. He toasted we his children…we listened…but did not really know…that would come later.
Every man and woman has a story. But it isn’t just their story! A portion is inherited from those who nurtured them…who loved them and guided them into tomorrow.
And then suddenly…tomorrow is now…and now is yesterday…memory then…becomes the greater friend…and each Christmas…like a star…becomes brighter and brighter…as they gather the treasures that once were taken for granted!
My father was my hero…and heroes do not die. Nor do they even fade away! He lives in the love of Christmas that he willed to be in every month of the year!
The carols can be heard in August or in April if the heart will simply rest from its endless race and stop to gather a bouquet of Christmas roses to distribute to those who seem to have lost their way!
That was the lyric of the toast that reached out in what would be his final Christmas…this man who towers in my memory and was my cane to lead me in life.
And in the quiet of a comforting hearth…I see him with my hidden eyes and continue to share my dreams that he and mother taught me to dream. I hear him tip toe into my thoughts in the sweetness of “Oh, Holy Night” or Bing singing “White Christmas” or “Adeste, fideles”
He is there too… in the smell of fir and balsam and pine…in the laughter of all who enter the house.
He is part of the pageant that celebrates the child of love. He is a part of me as I am a part of him.
He not only told me but showed me that love is deathless…just as Christmas is deathless and not cloistered to one season…but as vibrant and alive as hope is in the heart of everyone…and as promise is in the rising of the sun.
It is Christmas…and again…his glass is raised as is mine!
Christmas to all seasons! Love without bruises! Dreams without limitations! Life that does not have to be seen to be known! Redemption found only in the silence of contemplation…and laughter…even in the valley of tears.
Christmas forever! Amen