I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights like Heaven's stars reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you the joy their voices bring
For it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me. I see the pain inside your heart,
But I am not so far away. We really aren't apart.
So, be happy for me, dear ones. You know I hold you dear,
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I send you each a special gift from my heavenly home above.
I send you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is the gift more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other as my Father said to do
For I can't count the blessings of love He has for each of you.
So, have a Merry Christmas, and wipe away that tear.
Remember, I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
- Submitted by Peter L. Dedicated to Jackie H.
Jackie was one of a group of my friends from university days (1970's) at U of Waterloo, who have kept in touch over the years. I have fond memories of many years of golf tournaments, ball hockey tournaments, baseball tournaments, cross-country ski loppets, etc. followed by meals and comradery with these former classmates. All except I, were in the Recreation Program of study at university, which is why there was always a focus on sport in our subsequent "get-togethers". I was an "adopted Mathie/Accountant" who loved sport and knew one of the Rec students from our high school days.
Jackie battled Diabetes for years, but about 6-7 years ago faced her first of 4-5 surgeries which amputated progressive portions of both her feet and legs. In 2015, I requested a Prayer Blanket for Jackie from Jan Cressman-Weiss and her knitting team. And on Sept 27 of that year, we blessed a blanket for Jackie...see picture below. We delivered the blanket to Jackie and she displayed it proudly on her couch in her living room.
Jackie dealt with wheel chairs and prosthetic legs (and the necessary training in their use), ramps and various modifications to her home in Paris, ON. She and her sister even acquired a van adapted for wheel chair transportation. Our group from university days, would make periodic visits (those living closer, more frequently), while emails and phone calls were more frequent. Jackie coped with all of this, demonstrating great courage and an unbelievably positive spirit.
By Christmas 2017 Jackie was travelling regularly to Hamilton for kidney dialysis. She was told she needed a new kidney, but would never get one, because of her prior health issues. In addition, she was informed that she would need further amputation surgery. It became quite clear to doctors and Jackie and her family, that the end was nigh. It was simply a matter of how long Jackie wanted to attempt to defer the inevitable. Exhausted, she requested that there be no more surgeries and that doctors simply try to minimize the pain which she endured constantly. And so, Jackie faced the end bravely and with the same courage she demonstrated battling the effects of Diabetes.
I am proud to have known Jackie and to be able to call her a friend. May she rest in peace!
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Bonnie Schelter-Brown is the pastor of St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church.