Sunday, December 26, 2010


Our lives are filled with many days, which are filled with many moments. We look at our lives and we see good days, bad days, and days that are just marking time. Each of those days, like Christmas day, like this very day, are filled with moments, good moments and bad moments.

I’m a golfer, well I’m not a golfer so much as I play golf, badly. When I play golf, I enjoy the fraternal time, I enjoy the time outside, I enjoy moments of the golf. A round of my golf is generally comprised of about 100 swings at the little white ball. Fifty of those swings are reasonably satisfactory, forty of those swings make me wonder why I play golf, and ten of those swings are sweet, solid and pure. Those swings, when the ball flies straight and true, are the reason I love to play golf.

Thus is life, comprised of moments of great joy that can erase the bad and raise the mundane.

Christmas day, a holiday centered on the family and the birth of hope, is an intense study in this cycle of life. It is filled with the mundane, the cooking, the cleaning, and the putting up. It is nicked by bad moments of arguments, ill memories, missed gifts and the emotional trash we all get to carry.

The day is also painted and frozen in time with moments of pure bliss like watching your baby grandson walk through the living room banging together two pieces of a cardboard box like cymbals. Those moments, many or few, raise the day.

Marty was just coming out of her room for the day as my sister and her family made it to our home. My sister, Martha, was wearing a necklace that was a small replica of a string of multi-colored Christmas lights that lit up and blinked off and on. As she bent down to greet Marty and kiss her on her cheek Marty noticed the necklace and commented on the lights. Martha asked Marty if she had a necklace like that to which Marty said no. Martha looked at Marty, lifted the necklace from her neck, gently placed it around Marty’s and said, “You do now.” Marty wore the necklace the rest of the day; Martha raised the level of the day.

As lunch time approached Marty and I sat at the dinner table and watched as our children worked to prepare the Christmas meal for my whole family. There was a lot of cooking, some cleaning, some hustling, some bustling as our kids stepped up to feed my parents, my sister’s family and my brother. They were dealing with the reality of the day; we had the gift of being able to watch the ebb and flow of the moments of the day.

As Marty and I sat at the table our daughter-in-law, who is almost six foot tall and wonderfully slender walked out of the bedroom carrying our grandson, his smooth alabaster skin matched with the alabaster skin of Sarah, his blue almond shaped eyes sparkling as he shook off his nap. It was a beautiful young mother clutching and holding her perfect apple-cheeked child. It clearly was a moment above the mundane amidst the chaos of the day.

Tonight as we watched a football game after the carnage of the day, after all of the presents, the food, the visiting, the cleaning, I sat, half watching the game, the other half listening to Marty hum as she watched the game and then hearing Sarah, as she sat beside her start to hum just slightly, the two of them humming almost in perfect sync without any mind of the other; another moment that overwhelmed the mundane, that conquered the any bad parts of the day.

Days like today have the potential to be nothing more than a torrent of overwhelming stimuli. Days like today have the potential to push Marty to exhaustion. Days like today have the potential to push every anxiety button I have. Today, though, was one of those special days that was raised past the turmoil and pushed past the mundane to a level of contentment and bliss. It’s a whole lot easier to find the great moments when you are looking for them and when you have lots of help.

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