Sunday, December 30, 2012

End of a season

 The Christmas tree basket is weaved by my mother.
December has come to an end.This been has been a special, memorable, painful and joyful month to our little family.I am usually strict that Advent celebration shall not take place until December first. This year I made an exception. My Mom was longing for and looking forwards to Christmas from the end of September. She was ill and had several antibiotics cures this autumn, but as soon as she was out of bed, she started knitting socks for the nurses at the home where she spent her last days.She madded plans for gifts, food and clothing for the big coming feast. At the end of November we decorated her room with a little Christmas tree, candles, red embroidered tablecloths, poinsettias ( Christmas Stars in Norway), youlenisse and angels.She was thrilled. By my birthday the eighth, we returned to decorate the home in Sauda for a great Christmas celebration, the tree, dinner and coffee table were laid and all the old, familiar decorations, the manger, the lights and wreaths, star in the window and advent candles were there, even food supplies was provided. My Mom was all smile and joy as we returned to Haugesund. The next day we got the news, she'd had a new brain stroke and wasn't expected to live much longer. We waked for five days, they were rough for her and us, till she was let in the Pearly Gate, and everything in the room was idle peace. The day of St. Lucia was my Mom's homecoming day. The next day my aunt, my Mom's SIL, was buried and we somehow got the strength to attend the beautiful ceremony. December 17th we always visit and decorate the graves in Haugesund where Gunnar's family are buried. His Dad was born hundred years ago, December 17th 1912. Then back to Sauda in snow and storm, for Mom's quiet funeral December 19th. That was Mom's wish and we had to honor that. 

We returned to Haugesund to celebrate Gunnar's birthday, December 22nd. Serina made it a memorable day. I'm still not sure how we managed to buy Christmas presents, but we made it. Not many cards sent this year, though.
I was determined to present Norwegian Christmas Carols this Advent, one each day, and that somehow kept me going. In Serina's Advent calendar were simple riddles written in French, and one small gift hidden every day.We both had fun doing that. French is kind of a "new" language to Serina.The Little Christmas Eve, the 23rd, we returned to Sauda followed by a new storm. We celebrated Christmas with brother Kel. 

Everything was prepared on before hand, therefore we had a wonderful time surrounded by happy memories and memorabilia from my parents. We even attended three major church concert in Haugesund this Advents, the tickets were reserved in November.
We have experienced that the Lord has led us through dire landscape, opened doors and provided strength we did not posses in ourself.
The minister in the Church of Sauda was of great comfort and blessing, even smile and laughter.
Words from Jesaiah have proven to be true.  45:2 "I will go before you
    and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name."


Unknown said...

I'm sorry you've had so many trials this year. I have been blessed and encouraged to see your faith shine through your suffering. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Aritha said...

Hard times for you. Big hug and I am praying for you and your family.

Felisol said...

We may have had some hard times, but we've had good times too, and they have been given us in a God blessed mix.
We've held up with love and prayers both from our Internet friends and by local friends and relatives.
We've seen that the right people were sent to help us as we stood helpless, opening gates that were closed to us.
God has gone ahead of us and his timing has been perfect.

Jada's Gigi said...

A difficult but memorable Advent season for thoughts and prayers are with you, my sister...He is always faithful.

Annie Jeffries said...

Dearest Elise,

Though your road this year has been a difficult one, you have met it all with grace and a smile. It's the hardest thing, watching the decline of a beloved parent but you made your mother's final Christmas a Christmas to take with her to heaven and one for you, Gunnar, and Serena to keep in your hearts.

Wishing you all the best for this coming year and more music, music, music.


Mrs. Mac said...

This has been a bittersweet month. May your memories carry you through the pain and friends surround and shore you up ... bind up your wounds ... for Christ strengthens from within and blesses those that mourn.

Ralph said...

The church is simple, a place of quiet prayer and meditation for such a long time. Peaceful, it is a place to find the simple comfort of the Lord at any time - especially in your time of grief. The loss is hard as you had a family of love for so long. You of undeniable faith, it is that faith that sustains you...

Amrita said...

warm memories

Trish said...

Praying for you dear Felisol. How beautiful are these photo's of your Mom's service and the Church yard...nothing simple, but a grand celebration of a life well lived. Blessings my friend.