I began downsizing by giving a bunch of books to a monastery library. A smiling priest thought it was like Christmas to be given a 20-volume Oxford English dictionary and a collection of poets. There’s more poetry in words than we sometimes notice. Here are two of them:
Thanks for God’s love and yours. Thanks for your generosity. Thanks for your forgiveness.
Sorry I ever let you down, tested your tolerance or failed to do the right thing.
One of my early satisfactions was learning that everything began with the Word and that the Word is God. Words, upper case or lower, were the toys of childhood. They became tools of grownup life.
I don’t remember when I started, but it wasn’t long after I acquired my first computer almost three decades ago that I found how how much fun it is to make and mail Christmas cards. Something called olivopontocerebellar atrophy, which changed its name to multiple system atrophy, began to interfere with card production. MSA tangles fingers on a keyboard, causes hours of design to vanish, jiggles the alignment of mailing labels, distracts from folding cards evenly and diverts hands from stuffing the envelopes and stamping them. The fun part is making the cards, but some computers are haunted.
Mine is haunted by MSA this year, and it is leaving me with ghosts of Christmas cards past. I’m skipping the joy of sending my Merry Christmas greetings on cards, beginning this year. The arrival of Christ in the conscience of the world is a welcome mystery. Without it we might suffer more violence, including the physical and emotional violence of MSA and other so-far incurable diseases and the sense of medical terrorism that accompanies them.
I’ve already received gifts of affection and understanding from family and friends, including their tolerance of occasional MSA brain crashes, which are almost as baffling as computer crashes. It is a lot more fun being 91 when you live with your daughter and son-in-law, when you’re as close as email and Skype to your sons and their spouses, when you have six grandchildren who are smarter and better-looking than you are.
Please join me in prayers of gratitude for Christmas, a yearly gift from the timeless giver.
Merry Christmas to you, and a Happy New Year.
© A. E. P. (Ed) Wall email@example.com December 2016
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