It's taken me a long time to understand, finally, that the miracles come right along with the problems.
For the first time in my life we celebrated Christmas at my house — meaning, not my mother's house — because she was recently diagnosed with a very serious medical problem. Next week when everyone else is returning gifts and taking advantage of the sales, we'll be shopping for a competent neurosurgeon. Half-off, hopefully!
And despite this looming crisis, we had a good day. No, a great day.
Mom's been here since Monday and she made lasagna and gravy (that's tomato sauce to you non-Itals) and filled my house with the smells of wonderful Christmases past. My brothers came — middle brother with his new wife, still glowing from their April nuptials — and my big brother with his wife, daughter, and new-born son — filling my house with the shades of happy Christmases to come.
The cousins played, the baby slept, my husband made a fire, the couples napped, the gifts were exchanged, Grandma fussed over the baby, and us, and we laughed and ate and drank and celebrated. Today was Christmas and we did not pause to worry about tomorrow or the hard choices to come.
Today was our miracle and we did not miss a minute of it.