Dad’s Christmas Eve Memorial in 2020

Dad’s Christmas Eve Memorial in 2020

Feb 01, 2023

In Ancient Egyptian culture, Ma’at was the goddess, daughter of the sun god, Re, representing these Seven Principles: Truth, Balance, Order, Harmony, Righteousness, Morality, and Justice. This statue, which was one of my Christmas gifts this year, is Anubis, the god holding the Scales of Justice. On one scale is the human heart. On the other scale is an ostrich feather.

When someone died, it was believed their heart was weighed by the god Anubis against the ostrich feather that Ma’at always wore in her hair. That feather represents truth and justice. Later, Christianity adopted this concept of weighing one’s character with the Archangel Michael weighing the souls of people on Judgement Day.

How would our heart or our soul hold up today on a scale against truth and justice? Would it tip it way down, being out of balance and order? Or would it weigh evenly as it should?

God does not look at the physical, only the spiritual. He doesn’t see our degrees on the wall, the size of our house, or the number of times we put money in the offering plate or in the hands of a person in need, as any indication of what we’ve accomplished on this earth.

I believe true heartfelt caring and giving is what resides at the core of our being at all times and THAT is what translates as love. That is what God sees. I heard the best quote a while back and I remember making it my mantra for 2021:

“Love is not the answer. Love is the assignment.” WOW! Mind-blowing. That was by Martin Luther King Jr. Maybe you’ve heard it before.

Love is our assignment by God. Do we receive that assignment (love) wholeheartedly? Do we operate within that assignment (love) joyfully? Do we complete that assignment (love) unconditionally? If so, then our hearts and soul will truly be weighed as light as the feather of truth and justice, when it becomes time for us to enter into Heaven.

December 24, 2020, marked my dad’s one-year heavenly birthday. That was when we properly memorialized him personally as a family unit.

Our Annual Family Christmas Eve event (AFCE) is my large family’s time to get together, snack on goodies, exchange Secret Santa gifts, torture each other through a White Elephant gift exchange, play games, take the annual group family photo in the clothing of similar color or scheme, and subconsciously marvel at the miracle of God in the way of yet more great-grandchild(ren) (currently 19) being added to our mix since we’re pretty sure no more GRANDchildren (final count of 12) will be born (oldest is 46, I think; youngest 25). In fact, the oldest GREAT-grandchild is now 23, so having great-great-grandchildren in our family is a growing possibility. Wow.

On Christmas Eve 2019, our AFCE celebration occurred just five hours after Dad passed. That afternoon, I was at Dad’s facility as he took his last breath. As matters and phone calls began swirling here and there, it seemed too late to call off the event at Mom with all that food already prepared and gifts bought and wrapped.  

We made the quick and best decision to go forth with the gathering. The event was wonderful, as usual. What didn’t happen, though, was any real memorializing of Dad. We all stayed upbeat and strangely, didn’t even bring up the death incident. It was sort of like to do so would be walking on eggshells of raw emotions. 

So, in 2020, because of COVID-19 and the quarantining situation, we put together different and creative ways to enjoy our AFCE. To honor the mandate quarantine, we set up a drive-by type of environment at Mom’s where everyone brought just cookies, brownies, and other treats enough to share with everyone, as well as their Secret Santa gift. At the house, we provided hot chocolate with to-go cups and to-go containers for the sweets. So we were to arrive for this short duration, swap your gift, grab some hot chocolate to go, then provide it back to your respective home. Once home we had a scheduled Zoom call where we reconvened our Christmas Eve celebration.

 It was a cool idea and a great way to still carry on our tradition. One thing, though, most of us couldn’t just “drive by” so quickly. So time spent at Mom’s swapping gifts and getting the sweets and cocoa turned into more of an hour’s visit. That’s the love we have for our family! Soon though, for the sake of our out-of-town family members, everyone had to make their way home to get on the Zoom call.

During the virtual part of the celebration, we started off the gathering with the pouring of libations for Dad and all our ancestors. Following was the much-awaited memorial session for Dad. I wasn’t sure how it would be received-- if more than a couple of family members would feel like sharing, or what.

The outcome was wonderful, and I’m not really surprised; after all, we do have a big loving family. So, not only did every single adult contribute to the conversation by sharing lots of memories of Dad, but instead of the scheduled one-hour time frame, we were on the call for three hours! And no one complained.

Continue your Rest In Paradise, Dad. We miss you terribly.