Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 21st December

I think that I am caught up in the whole Christmas, end-of-year, think about the meaning of things type vibe that gets our hearts clicking and our minds working at this time of year.

We went to the church we usually visit at Christmas for a carol service this evening. As we were singing, I was acutely aware of the number of times that I have stood next to Mum in church, with her clear voice in my ear.

I was also desperately aware that I will never hear her again. Not here. Not at St Columba’s. Not anywhere.

And never again will I hold her hand. Or hug her.

That is so hard. Especially at this time of year.

Mum is not physically here. She won’t be with us for Christmas; won’t wrap up presents in her own, special way; won’t sit next to me at church on Christmas morning; and won’t play Mother Christmas, handing out the family’s gifts.

And yet, there is something about Mum everywhere around here at Sedge. It’s a presence, a memory, a thought.

It’s a remembered phrase, or smile, or something else so typical of her. She remains, especially at this time of year, our own special angel.

Maybe it is just the time of year, but angels seem to be on my mind.

There are so many times that people step out of the ordinary and stand in our lives in ways we need, but would not ask for – and which make such a difference to us. Every time we go away at this time of year, a neighbour steps in and looks after our dogs. Without her, things would be so different. One of our angels. Right at this moment, a friend is playing the role of nurse, babysitter and rescuer to one of the dogs, who was hurt. Another angel in our lives.

They say that ‘God works in mysterious ways…’. Perhaps so close to Christmas His ways are a little easier to see.

This time of year is the time for Christmas, for family, for reflection – and for angels.

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