Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Full Letter

I just found a bunch of my Mom's old journal entries and stumbled across the full Christmas letter excerpted below, which I think is worth sharing. Her brief mention of Sarah refers to my younger Sister, Sarah, who died of heart complications at age 4.

Dec. 2, 1996

Dear Peter,

This morning I finally have set aside time to write you a Christmas letter. Because Christmas falls heavily on my shoulders, I haven’t appreciated it recently as I should, so it’s nice to take a break and think about it.

As the years have gone by, Christmas has taken on new and deeper meanings. At this stage, of course, the significance of the Savior’s birth and atonement grows in me. I’m getting older. It means more and more as our family grows, as my love grows for your father and my own parents and for you children, and as I see the lives and personalities of my children unfold. For me, the most enduring part of Christmas as we celebrate it is in the sacred carols. They carry the joy and awe of his birth. I also cherish the sweet feelings I have toward all the family as I try to think of things that would delight each one---and the pain that accompanies knowing I can’t give every delight. Mixed into that is the memory of Christmases past--mostly the feeling of gathering near the tree with loved ones, playing games, enjoying gifts, listening to sweet music, enjoying life together.

As I think of all the sweet babies that have come into our home--their precious personalities and the fun we have had, it almost overwhelms me. I can hardly imagine such rich blessings. Now I see them being repeated in grandchildren.

You are a great part of my joyful memories, Peter. As an infant, you were my deep comfort. In sorrow for little Sarah, I held you even closer and relished your infancy. Your traumatic birth brought me closer to the millions of women who have lost their lives and/or their children in childbirth. I really felt the sacrifice and the value of it. Your personality was a joy from the beginning--warm, loving, busy, enthusiastic, obedient and respectful to your parents and teachers. I think you came to us that way, a special blessing to our family and to all who have been close to you.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

I wish I had taken the time to talk to her more about being a mother. She taught me a love for music and the scriptures, and I know she would have shared some gems with me about being a mother.