To my Dad. Merry Christmas.

This week is a bittersweet one for my family. Amidst the joy of the Christmas season, we also have sorrow. We lost my Dad Christmas morning last year. This is a tough milestone – the anniversary of his death and our first Christmas without him.

I ring with our handbell choir at church, and one of my favorite times of the year is when we ring Silent Night to end the Christmas Eve service. The church is packed, and everyone sits in their seats holding an unlit candle. The lights go down. As I stand at the front of the church (facing the congregation) and begin to toll the bells in darkness, I have an awesome view. The ushers move down the dark aisles, and the candles begin to light. Slowly at first, the sanctuary warms with candlelight. Then the words to Silent Night begin. People start singing quietly, building confidence as the verses continue. In the fourth verse, everyone lifts their candles high into the air. I can’t tell you how stunningly beautiful this is to watch. It takes my breath away every time. When the song is done, the candles are blown out and the church is in darkness again.


Last year, as I was tolling and taking in this breathtaking sight, my Dad wasn’t there, but lay in a bed just a few miles away. We have always been connected with music, and I felt like at that moment, in my own way, I was helping him to make his journey from this world to the next.

This evening when I toll the bells, the sight of the candles will be beautiful and sad at the same time. I know my Dad will be there with me.

I just realized this post took a huge tangent. I hope you don’t mind. I just started thinking of and writing about Christmas Eve last year and all that came out.

At my Dad’s service, I read the lyrics to Neil Young’s Falling Off the Face of the Earth. The words are still as true today as they were when I read them almost a year ago. I suppose this song has become a Christmas song of sorts for me.

Merry Christmas, Dad. I miss you.

Falling Off the Face of the Earth

I just want to thank you
For all of the things you’ve done
I’ve been thinking about you
I just want to send my love
I send my best to you
That’s my message of love
For all the things you did
I can never thank you enough

Feel like I’m falling
Falling off the face of the earth

I just want to tell you
You sure mean a lot to me
It may sound simple
But you are the world to me
It’s such a precious thing
That time we shared together
I must apologize
For the troubled times

Feel like I’m falling
Falling off the face of the earth
Falling off the face of the earth

5 thoughts on “To my Dad. Merry Christmas.

  1. Pingback: TTT: The Ties that Bind – Fabulous Father-Daughter Bonds | Hidden Staircase

  2. Pingback: To my Dad. Merry Christmas, 2018. | Hidden Staircase

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