Daniel and I are soaking up every sweet minute of family and friend time during our stay in Tulsa. We've watched Thunder basketball with his family, taken photos of one of my very favorite couples and their pretty pups for Christmas, and seen a Christmas musical that starred one of my closest friends. Last night I got to hug the neck of the friend I've known the longest, who lost her mother to cancer Friday morning. We laughed and grieved and listened and changed the subject and loved on one another while sitting on her floor in a circle of friends she's collected as early as birth and as recently as a couple of months ago. It was really beautiful, despite the awful situation.
And today I took more Christmas gift photos--for my brother and his adorable girlfriend. These photos and the pow wow last night have me thinking a lot about memory and what I'll remember about this Christmas season years from now. Will I remember how the break began a little early, with news of death Friday morning and my failed attempt at returning to work after locking myself in the bathroom to double over and cry? Will I remember realizing I'd never felt SO strongly on behalf of another person, and subsequently realized how very connected our shared childhood caused us to be, even into adulthood? Or will it be staying at Daniel's parents' house and feeling part of the family for the first time? Or the gift several families have given me in asking me to preserve a few moments of their time in photos?
I'm not sure what I'll remember--I haven't really been taking any personal photos on this trip, but I don't think what I'm feeling can be captured in that medium. And that's okay. I don't always let myself stop to really FEEL life, and I think that's catching up with me on these last few days of the year. And let me tell you--feelings are PAINFUL, but they are WONDERFUL.
I got to celebrate a life sitting in that circle of friends on the floor last night, and in two days I get to celebrate THE LIFE, Jesus Christ, with an even bigger circle of brothers and sisters. I am doing a lot of feeling, for sure.
Let yourself feel Christmas, you guys. It's okay.