I’m going to churn out some thoughts here, without parsing the words or stewing and studying for a long time. I try to avoid emotionally-charged thoughts these days, as I’m a bit on overload. If I camp out on these thoughts very long, upheavel will result. Emotional. Upheaval.
These days (i.e., at this stage of my life), I sometimes see myself as having a viewpoint that I would describe as birds-eye, or an overview. From that vantage (that comes with age, sorry, it just does), I am observing many references to “firsts” and “lasts” during this holiday season. I just wanted to write down these thoughts somewhere. That’s one reason I have a blog. So here it is.
What I see is more than just observations about the “circle of life,” although that has been on my mind a lot the last year and a half, having experienced the deaths of several older family members. What I am observing is not earth-shattering, nor is it a new or unique viewpoint. But, it’s really hitting me hard these days—and that is, that “life” is a series of firsts and lasts. These milestones are discussed openly during this season, especially in social media.
Most of these apply to me personally, but not all. I have recently seen references to:
Couples’ First Christmas
First Christmas in new house
Baby’s First Christmas (Christmas ornaments to denote the occasion)
First Christmas with new daughter-in-law/son-in-law
Grandbaby’s First Christmas
Newly-married grandchildren’s first Christmas together
Great Grandbaby’s First Christmas
First Christmas without spouse
Last Christmas with Daddy (or first Christmas without Daddy)
Last Christmas with sister (or first Christmas without sister)
Last Christmas with Mother (or first Christmas without Mother)
…and on and on the cycle goes…
There’s a mixture of emotions that comes with each milestone.
The good I see is this: Most every “last” has a “first” close on its heels—for example, this is our first Christmas without my mother, but it’s also the first Christmas that we have other important people who are entering our family for the first time.
I guess what I am seeing is simply more evidence of what we read about in Ecclesiastes:
Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV)
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die…
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
…”beginning to end…”
Firsts and lasts…
“Christmas makes me feel emotional…”