Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
Thank you to all of you who have sent me comforting notes and seasonal greetings. I dearly appreciate your friendship, prayers, and good wishes. It is a difficult time for me. The first anniversary of Jim’s death is the day after Christmas, and I will be visiting his gravesite (with Angel in tow). The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are not the joyful events of yesteryear. They will always remind me of lost love and devotion, and emphasize my current life of solitude.
I took this photo on the last journey that Jim and I shared together, Christmas at Biltmore in 2013. It was a bittersweet time because he was hopeful that he would beat the awful cancer. In contrast, I was silently braced for a long and difficult year ahead, and preparing myself for a future life without him. He was optimistic. I was realistic.
God took him home a year later, just as I suspected all along.
This will be a Christmas shared with new friends. The majority of my friends are new ones, found at church and on photography tours. Some friends from long ago have also came back into in my life, and those reappearances were wonderful surprises. I can also continue to count on emotional support from a devoted sister-in-law in Indiana.
I’m getting by. I’m surviving. And I’m grateful for many blessings and God’s grace.
May you find comfort and love during this special time, and celebrate a birth that changed the world.