This December is unlike any other in my lifetime. I won’t be lifting a candle and singing in the choir on Christmas Eve, and I won’t be spending it with family. And yet, it is a miracle.
Five years ago, my husband and I remarried after 13 years apart. When the officiant at Union Theological Seminary on New York’s Upper West Side asked why we were going to the trouble of a big ceremony when many people our age would not, I said that we had been given a miracle in finding each other again. And that miracles have to be honored. As the first December miracle must be honored.
We were blessed, five years ago, with family and friends all around us. Our son was the Best Man and our daughter a Bridesmaid. Our grandsons were ushers. And family came from all over the country to spend Christmas in New York with us. They helped us honor the miracle that we had been given, and we are forever thankful.
Our elder grandson played the guitar and sang at our reception, tailoring a song to our age! And our younger grandson read a poem that he had written, after which there was not a dry eye in the house. Toasts from our son and daughter, and from my college roommate, connected all of our guests with laughter and shared stories.
Family came from as far away as the State of Washington, as well as Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Florida. New York in December is an expensive proposition, yet all of them were joyful and gracious about celebrating with us and loved everything from the giant tree at Rockefeller Plaza to watching ice skating at the Wollman Rink in Central Park. It was a magical time, in a magical place.
My husband and I have loved New York for many years, and people tease me that I should write a “Hallmark Channel” story about our engagement at the top of the Empire State Building. Temperature at ground level that night was 21 degrees, and I can’t imagine what it was on the Observation Deck. Unlike the usual crowded conditions, the Observation Deck was empty – all the sensible people had gone somewhere for a warm drink no doubt!
But the cold weather brought a brilliant clarity to the darkness, and the lights of the art deco Chrysler Building sparkled in the night sky. We felt lucky to have that view all to ourselves, albeit a little frozen! Before long, I noticed my once and future husband reaching in his pocket for a small box. His hands were shaking in the cold, and the silly wool hat on his head was gathering icicles. But he persevered and opened the box, offering me a ring that would never have been possible when we first got married so many years ago.
When he asked if I would marry him all over again, I actually asked if he was sure! I guess that sometimes miracles have a way of sneaking up on me, and it takes awhile for me to believe it.
So this blog post is not about my book. It’s about miracles. And believing. I hope that you who read this post – and, perhaps, read my book, will believe in your own miracles this year. And thank you for listening. I am thankful.
It is a miracle I say thanks for every night while I hold your hand before going to sleep. So much had to happen to make that night on the Empire State Building possible. I’m forever grateful that it did!