Monday, December 6, 2010


I awoke to a lovely gentle snow this morning - so soft and pretty to watch.  I stepped out on to our upper deck and breathed deeply as cold snow flakes fell on to my hair and face....each flake like a promise of new hope.  I was so excited to wake Skipp - "honey, it's snowed -, it's still snowing - everything is white!"  He joined me on the deck - we stood silently in each others arms as the softest flakes landed on us so gently and quietly - I/we felt SO alive. 

I especially love the reflection of the tree in the pond out front.  I love the first snow - each year it's beauty and meaning magnify as I realize how precious and fragile life is.  
My wonderful sister-in-law spent the afternoon with me yesterday - she wrapped ALL our Christmas gifts.  She is an artist and so detailed. She did a beautiful job.  I am so blessed to have people in my life like Sherri so willing to help - wanting to help -  I am humbled by her gracious giving of her time and talents to me. She asked me a question about my "Thanksgiving' letters and why I did not post my daughter Jennifer's.  I explained that only those who sit at our Thanksgiving table get a letter - however, I did write one for Jennifer, as well.  :-)  And thank you Sherri for reminding me and I am thrilled to post it below. 

Thanksgiving 2010


First and foremost is how you make me laugh, mostly at myself as a result of your quick with and never let anything slide approach, from a BIV to having MS - you have a way of easing the moment by getting me to laugh.  “Thank you’.

I truly love that you live close by - that we share in one anther's daily lives and help one another without being invasive.  I feel so good when you stop by with Joel and Zak or alone - it is always fun and loving. I know you understand my loss over your Sister and the choices she has made - and I know you have tried to stand up for me and that means a lot. Some things are just not resolvable.

I think you are so beautiful, inside and out.  I love how you decorate your home and your flare for antiques and old fashioned nick-knacks.  Your home is lovely - and I so appreciate how you love to cook and that you ask me for recipes or how I make whatever.  I always love how much you love family tradition, especially Christmas eve and now, these Thanksgiving letters.   I am so thankful that family matters to you and that you care about these traditions.  I find comfort in knowing that you will carry these family traditions on when I am no longer here to do so.  The magnitude of that hope fills me with great joy.  “Thank you”......

I am so grateful that you show your love for Nana and that you were there every step of the way when she took ill.  And you also were so helpful in making sure I got to see her too.  Your visits to the hospital, doctors and transportation to dialysis are HUGE acts of love and kindness.  I sing your praises all the time about how helpful you are, and how lucky we are to have you close to us. For all you do and so much more I “thank you”, with al tht I am, with all that I know to be right and good and loving, I “thank you”......
And remember Jen,
 I love you......NO MATTER WHAT


thanks Sherri..  :-) and how many of you know what  BIV means?  :-)

Now, about "hope-the tree".  Oh my goodness - she is dieing  not much left to her. Sherri gave me a beautiful ornament for Hope - a jeweled peace sign, so sparkly and lovely - and we hung it proudly on our Christmas tree. I knew that Hope-the tree was barely hanging on for some time now and I was SO afraid to even say the words that "hope is dieing".  My goodness.  I now have a gorgeous "Hope-box", box of hope - all of the items folks have sent for Hope-the tree are now safely in the "Hope-Box".   So HOPE IS ALIVE in the "Hope-Box" 

So as you can see HOPE is alive with all of the hope folks have sent me now filling the new "Box of Hope"!!  It was really hard to take the items off of Hope-The-Tree and place them in their new setting - but it is done.  Hope never dies - it may change its setting but it NEVER dies.  

Below is a picture of our manger and our tree and our dining room table. The manger is the same manger I grew up with.  The animals and Joseph, Mary and Jesus and the Wise Men were my grandmother's- they are almost 100 years old.  I am so honored to have this manger to display each year.

Look closely at the tree and you can see the beautiful jeweled 'peace/hope ornament Sherri gave us. Also, all of our ornaments are 'collector-series'.  Skipp has been buying me ornaments for almost 20 years.  Each one, each set is so meaningful, about love and family and hope.  And also I have ornaments my Dad made right before he died and ones my kids made when they were little.  It was hard when I hung Kristie's on the tree- she was seven when she made it and we were so close.  Oh how I miss my little girl.  :-(  Please continue to pray that her heart will open and she will see and feel the love and light of her family, once again.






Baracka said...

beutiful pictures... and thanks for sharing .... you are a blessing .. remember to keep the faith and keep pressing forward all that you are waiting on god for will be arriving soon.

Cinner said...

So Chickadee I am pulling my hair out trying to figure out what BIV means....I thought you were going to tell us love your letter to your daughter, and your reflection of the tree on the water. oh my. love all your Christmas stuff. so great you have all your treasures. hugs my friend.

Gail said...


I will email you what BIV means - it is quite hysterical. I am so glad you enjoyed our Christmas 'stuff' and the etter and all else. You are the best.
Love you my friend

Gail said...

thanks so much for stopping by and sharing in my world. I will forge on ...
love to you

Eileen said...

Sorry to hear about 'Hope', I remember your posts about her last year, but I think it's sweet too to have a 'box of hope' with all your hopeful keepsakes, and it's also a box of friendship and love!

I loved all your photos, the story of the snow, your lovely sister, your decorating, and especially your sentiments about your daughters. Strange to feel one so close and one so far, isn't it? So hard to make heads and tails out of it all, I know.
And I also know from my own experience that the fact that one lives under my roof doesn't make her close in heart, and that void needs filling too, it's not the distance of miles that keeps us apart, it is so much more, so I know what this means to you. I will keep you in my prayers.

The only BIV I know is that rainbow thing, but I don't know why you would need someone to stand by you through a rainbow, so I'm guessing it's something much more. It's so sweet to share those private 'codes' with loved ones.

Wishing you and yours all the best, Gail.
Love and Prayers,

Finding Pam said...

Gail, I love your heart felt letter to you daughter. Your reflection of Christmas' past is so lovely as is the reflection of the trees in the pond.

I can tell how much you love Christmas and the Christ child. May you know peace and love over flowing this year.

I have to admit I don't know what BIV is either?

May all your prayers be answered.

Love to you,

Choices said...

Such a beautiful post.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Teacher's Pet said...

Hi Gail......
Lovely letter to Jennifer. I enjoy coming here to your blog...reading about the love you share with your soooooooo jealous of your snow!!...sigh.
I wish we would see snow here....but we hardly ever do. If we do, it would be declared a holiday for sure!! We rarely if ever see it unless we travel to Atlanta....and they don't see it that much, either. Our North Carolina home has snow...BUT....that home is at 4500 feet on top of a mountain....and we would be there for a while if we got caught in the snow up there. I can only look at lovely photos such as yours....and drool...and dream....and be happy for you that you enjoy a truly wonderful winterland. Hugs and many smiles to you, Gail.

Gail said...


I so appreciate ho you knw my heart so well when it comes to our children. I so get what you ar saying that even when the one distanced lives under your roof there is still a void, an emptiness :-(

I had Hope-the-tree for 2 years - and yes, the 'Hope-box' is a box of hope, friendship and love, yes! :-)

I am getting the biggest kick out of folks comments about what a BIV might be - I laugh right out loud - I WILL tell you all, I promise. And we all will have a hearty laugh. :-)
Loving you always

Gail said...

so nice to have you come by and share in our family Christmas traditions, hopes and blessings.
Love to you

Gail said...


Thank you somuch for your appreciation shared about my letter to my daughter Jennifer :-) And I am so glad you enjoyed my snow pictures - even though they made yu jealous. Well, come by anytime and feel a New England WInter.
Love to you and your Mama and Daddy always

Gail said...


Thank you for stopping by and sharing some of the Christmas season here with me. I love that you did. :-)

Love to you always

Bernie said...

Gail, what a lovely post, I love how you appreciate the snow, Skipp your wonderful sister in law and your grandmothers figurines, you are a very special sweet lady.
The letters you wrote at Thanksgiving were beautiful, the one to Jennifer is so lovely and my heart aches for Kristie. Keep praying Gail and I will as well as I know miracles can happen and do happen, I have had one of my own recently which has not only been wonderful but such a blessing. Hope your mum and sister are doing well and that you are the very best you can be.....many hugs:-)

Oh, what is BTV? (only if you want to share) xo

Gail said...


You wrote with so much heartfelt love and kindness and 'knowing'. :-) Thank you so much for sharing in these blessings. ANd for your continued prayers for Kristie. ANd I would love to know of your recent miracle. Did I miss a post of yours? And BIV? I will email you what it is, k? :-)

Love to you my friend
peace and hope for us all

Tramp said...

I am really glad I read this, you sure know how to put some real meaning and magic into what can be such a crazy, stressful and heartless time of year.
BIV is also a mystery to me, but there must be some mysteries in life ;-)

Gail said...


thanks so much for visiting adn sharing in some of hte magic in this part of the world :-) and I will get the info to you as to what BIV means!!

Love to you and Lady and all of your family


Scott said...

If I woke up Kali to tell her that it had snowed overnight she'd throw her stocking cap--or worse--at me!

Wonderingsoul said...

Ah Gail, the beautiful sentiment in your post literally made me sigh. Thank you so much for such hope filled words.
Your words are so heavy with love, just like the delicate branches weighted with snow. It constantly strikes me.
I also feel the ache of a lost love and I will pray that some of the warmth from your hope box can somehow reach into her and bring some of the light she needs to rediscover.

As for BIV... Like everyone else, I'm stumped! It must be something rude..?! I think you need to bite the bullet and do a post about it!
Does the B stand for Bowels??!!

So much love to you Gail


Gail said...

your heartfelt words and connection to me is so beautiful to feel - I adore you. I so appreciate your validation and your prayers for my child that is lost. And the 'B' does not stand for bowels, good guess though :-) I will reelt its menaing. Promise. :-)

Loving you always and forever'
peace and hope for us all

Gail said...

too funny about what your wife would do if you woke her to tell her it had snowed :-)
I am so glad you came by to share i some of our Christmas season blessings and traditions.

Love to you
peace and hope for us all

Rebecca said...

I can't figure it out (BIV), but then I've not "followed" you as closely as any rate, I am enjoying getting to know you better as you share your heart - and hurts - during the holiday season.

Your tree and traditions are beautiful. May their beauty and meaning help fill all empty spaces that exist in your heart until all is mended and right.

Gail said...


thank you SO much for sharing in our Christmas family traditions, joys and sorrows, hopes and fears. Such is life for us all. Amen

Love to you