It's after 11pm on Christmas night, the child is asleep, and I am up alone in a quiet house. This has been a challenging December at our house and it's not over yet. Tom and I both had interviews for new jobs, neither of us got. Abby was sick for her 8th birthday and we had to cancel her party. Two dear friends at work have left the agency, one moved to a new and exciting job at another agency and one retired to an exciting home remodeling project. Both will be sorely missed and whose absence leaves a gaping hole in our web team. My church that I have been a member of for 24 years voted 213/176 to dismiss a much loved and controversial minister essentially splitting our church in two. I am still vexed by this action and feel betrayed and broken-hearted. As my family celebrated the arrival of my brother-in-law and his family visiting from Korea for the holidays, the part of my family that lives in Dallas was gathering to celebrate Christmas last night. Unfortunately a freak accident as they were all leaving for their homes has left my aunt in intensive care in a Dallas hospital and my family reeling from the sudden randomness of the trauma inflicted on both my aunt and my nephew who was also injured. They tell us that her injuries at this time are not life-threatening, but they are life-changing. My nephew's truck rolled over both of them when the parking brake failed. My aunt is 69 years old and has multiple fractures and lacerations and will likely be permanently disfigured on the left side of her face and head. It is still too early to know much else for certain. There is a lot of inflammation that needs to subside before they can consider surgery, so she is being sedated for now and we wait. My husband Tom drove my mother to Dallas this morning. He volunteered and had his bag packed 30 minutes after we got the call last night. We celebrated Christmas today without them as they sat vigil in a hospital 200 miles north.
Last December I lost a childhood friend to cancer and my father-in-law to a lung disease. As painful as that December was, I am feeling almost as vulnerable this year. Though I don't pray, it's not part of my religious practice, I understand some Unitarians do, I do have a Christmas Wish for my aunt Martha, a beloved aunt whom I am very close to, to heal quickly and allow her family who loves her to help her in any way that we can. I also hope that my nephew who assumes too much responsibility for the accident will find peace in the fact that nobody was to blame and that we all love them both very much. May the New Year bring healing for us all.