The December calendar is a busy one for our family. As a young girl, I learned that my paternal grandparents, were married on December 8th. Since their first and only child, my Dad, made his appearance on December 9th (the next year), my grandparents always jokingly referred to their marriage date and my Dad's birthday as if the two occurred one day apart. And then my Dad married my Mother, and their second child, my oldest brother, was born on my Dad's birthday. Although none of my oldest brother's children were born in December, his second wife's birthday is in December, ironically the same day (and year) as his own. The two of them joke that neither will ever forget the other's birthday! But the December birthdays certainly did not end there - my oldest brother (born on December 9th) has a granddaughter whose birthday is December 17th, and my youngest brother was born on December 4th. It was destiny, I suppose, that my youngest brother's first child, a daughter, was born on December 22. Just call December the "Month of Birthdays" for our family.
The anniversary and the birthdays mentioned here are all happy events, but life is not all happiness and joy, even at Christmastime. A number of years ago, our family's happiness turned to sorrow, when my oldest brother lost his beloved wife to cancer just before dawn on Christmas morning. When my young sister-in-law died that morning, Christmas Day stood still and sadness enveloped our entire family. Not only did she leave a grief-stricken husband, but three young children lost their mother. Although my brother is now happily remarried and the three children are married with families of their own, I know that memories of that sad Christmas morning will be with all of us for a lifetime.