hummingbird visits… and christmas… and mama… and LOVE…

It’s Christmas time again.  How did it come again so fast?  But not fast at all.  The days are long, but the years seem so short.  How does that work?  Do you get to figure all that out in the place where you are?


Hummingbirds.  We’ve named you our hummingbird Grandma.  Because when we feel you near, it’s usually only for a short minute and then you’re gone again.  And you loved hummingbirds more than most things.   You always had a hummingbird feeder.  You loved watching all birds, but when a  hummingbird would show up it was most exciting because they are so fun to watch.  Their visits are rare, even if you have a feeder.  They’re tiny and beautiful and they hover and flit around so fast it’s like they’re bringing trails of happy to the house and the people racing to the window to see them.  Most of the time if we weren’t already watching, we’d miss the hummingbird’s visit.  Because their visits are only seconds in time.  Then they are gone.  Just like that.  Just like you.  Gone.  So now we call you our “hummingbird grandma.”  Full of happy and love when you flit in and out of our lives.  That’s how we know you are busy.  and happy.  and still watching over us.  never forgetting.  our sweet sweet hummingbird.

This Christmas, April decided to start doing a service project with her children each Season, and in your memory since you always loved serving more than most things too.  She and her kids were able to collect lots of food to create dinner boxes for families in the school where she works.  Last Thanksgiving, my family and I had decided to start a new tradition this year as well.  We give our kids a certain amount of money on Thanksgiving Day.  They have until Christmas Day to use it ALL, for service, in SECRET.  We’re naming it our “Hummingbird Grandma Secret Santa.”  Why the “santa?”  Well, I have a vivid memory of me with you, it was while you lived with us for a year.  You and I had gone to a boutique at Christmas and you kept touching every santa that you could.  You said something to me and I’ve never forgotten it and I’m not sure why… just one of those silly things my mind grabs hold of.  Maybe because of the longingness in your voice.  You said, as you touched one of the santas, “I love Santas.  I would collect them if I could, and have them all over at Christmas time.”  And so that’s why the “Secret Santa.”  And the last few years of your life, you didn’t get a regular Christmas tree… you made one with santa’s and poinsettias.  And yesterday, April went over and set up your “tree” for daddy so he could feel Christmas in his heart.

Your Christmas "tree" just like you always did it

Your Christmas “tree” just like you always did it

The kids were excited for our new tradition.  And on Christmas Day it will be story time  as they tell me all their stories of how they used the money.  Maybe.  Maybe it will help us all to turn our focus away from ourselves and the buying and the wishing and the wrapping, and make us look around to find people to serve.  Because isn’t that what Christmas is all about anyway?  LOVE. and sharing. and serving.  Sometimes I wonder.  If all the bad people in the world could hold the baby Jesus for just a minute.  Would they still do the killing and the bombing and the bullying?  Probably not.  Probably.  Because even just reading about Him calms me, teaches me to LOVE more, to give more, to serve more.  So holding Him in my arms would surely make me want to be better.  And I wonder how Mary felt when she held baby Jesus in her arms, and if she really understood it all.


And maybe if we could get on a rocket and go the moon and see the earth from there… we would see how miraculous it all is.  and how small this world really is compared to the universe. and maybe we’d all get along better.  all of us.  in the whole wide world.  wouldn’t that be something?

And so this Christmas I dedicate to you mama.  Because you’re all of the good stuff, all of the LOVE and the service and the giving and the happy that we look for at Christmas.  And maybe it will calm the missing you, and the wishing you were here still.  But you’re not here.  Not always.  Still.  You visit.  You flit in and out of our lives, checking on us occasionally, calming my little girl heart when you know I’m missing you something awful.  Like at Christmas time.

The days are long but the years seem so short.  I don’t know how that works.  This mixing up of time.  But maybe you understand it all better now.  Time only exists here, not there.  And maybe you see things more clearly.  And maybe that’s why mostly what I feel from you is the LOVE of the Savior.  Not just at Christmas but always and forever.  And even though our second Christmas without you is just as hard as the first, we have you always and forever.  So there’s that.  And you breathe happy and LOVE into us all the year long.  But at Christmas, when everything stops, like it did this morning, with the soft white pillow of snow, that’s fresh on the ground, we can’t be in a hurry.  It’s too hard to hurry in that landscape.


We open the door the world outside, and the scene makes us stop in our tracks, awed by the quiet of it. Do you remember that? how quiet the world is after fresh snow?  So we stand there, suddenly spending time in the remembering. the remembering of times gone by. happy and smiles and laughing.  your laughing.  and even though the longing for you settles in again and threatens to make me so sad, i can see you flitting in to bring me happy inside. like you always did when i was a child.  full of happy and mama and LOVE.

So thank you again this year, for all the happy memories of you, flooding into my heart along side the baby Jesus, who brought all the LOVE of the whole wide world in His little manger.  And thank you for watching over us and for being our hummingbird grandma always and forever.  Merry Christmas mama.  I love you with all my little girl heart.

happy happy mama

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