She smiled at me, tears brimming in her eyes. I reached out for her outstretched hand. Her bottom lip quivered, she took a breath, "you know my daughter doesn't have much to do with me."
I nodded and waited.
"They've called her and asked her to come by to see me, but she must be awfully busy, especially this time of year."
I rubbed her cold, eighty-six year old hand. "I'm sure she is busy."
She gazed across the room, watching some of the other residents interact with visitors.
"I must not have been a very good Mother. At least not as good as I thought."
I squeezed her hand. "I'm sure you were and are a much better Mother than you give yourself credit for."
I had the privilege of having lunch with two precious friends this week. Unfortunately both of them have lost their spouses, one of them just a few months ago.
Another dear friend spent a week or so at our house, resting, eating and sharing memories with us. She, too has lost her spouse this year.
Other friends came a few weeks ago, just to visit and share dinner with us. She is facing the first round of chemotherapy, after having a double mastectomy, a "cancer free" diagnosis, and now learning it has returned and is in her lymph nodes.
You're probably wondering where all of this is going.
Each of these precious friends shared with me, a gift. That gift is telling me how each of them feels blessed. Each one of them shared with me many "blessings" they have received in spite of the hurts in their hearts.
I feel truly blessed to call each of them my friend. God blesses us with friends. People we can count on. People we can laugh with, or sometimes shed tears with.
Each one of these people is a gift from God to me. None of them were "born into my family", not my biological family, but my Christian family.
This is my Christmas Blessing, and I praise the Lord and thank HIM for each and every one of them.