As another Christmas Day came to a close, the sun buried itself beneath the horizon and a dark shadow crept across the sky, another darkness crept into my heart. It's one of those quiet, dull feelings that creep in and fill the inside with a haze. This Christmas will probably be Missy's Grandpa's last and that covers everything with a blanket of sadness.
None of us are going to make it out of here alive. I know that. We all know that, but it still doesn't seem to help dull the pain. It just doesn't seem right. Roger has meant so much to so many of us. Why him? Why now?
I can still remember it like it was yesterday, a few years ago standing outside on a Spring night with Roger looking at baby chickens. I had just received a report that my CAT Scan showed a spot, which meant my cancer may had returned. Roger and I spoke of it briefly. I don't even remember what was said. What could be said at that point. What I can remember though, is that I felt loved, I felt accepted and I felt like I wasn't carrying the burden and the fear myself. A couple tears streaked down his face, and I knew that no matter what, it was going to be ok, because I wasn't alone. My cancer hadn't returned as the Scan showed a false result, but little did we know at the time, Roger was going to begin his own battle with cancer soon after.
I don't remember when I first met Roger, but it feels like he's always been in my life. From what I'm guessing, I felt like I was family from the moment I met him. It doesn't matter if you're blue, brown, black, or white; if you're Democrat, Republican or Independent; if you're loud, quiet, short, tall, skinny or fat, tattoos, piercings; it really doesn't matter. From my experience, if you're breathing and you meet Roger, you're accepted. Roger has a way of making you feel loved and accepted and making you feel welcome in his home. 7 years ago, when I faced the most challenging time of my life with cancer, anxiety, depression and addiction, nothing meant more to me than to feel loved and accepted. Just to know that I still had people behind me no matter what. As others' distrust and judgement was apparent with just one look, my relationship with Roger and Janie never blinked. I was loved, I was accepted, and I was supported. Those who know Roger well know what I'm talking about. If you screwed up, no matter how bad, you were not going to find judgement from Roger. You would find Love, you would find Acceptance and you would find Support. Damn, I wish I could learn how to accept and love others like that!!
So, as the end draws near and we spend our last Christmas with Roger, what are we supposed to do with this? A few months ago, in the presence of friends and family, and with the purchase of a $4.99 plastic pool, Roger professed his trust in Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was baptized in that plastic pool. It was unconventional, it was a little crazy, but man I loved it. It was one of the most beautiful things that I've ever witnessed. 2000 years ago today, give or take a few years, this guy Jesus was born and he changed everything. No longer did we have to be perfect to find God, but now we were loved, we were accepted and we were supported, if we would just lay down our pride and say that we need a Savior.
As the end draws near for Roger, and we get ready to say goodbye, because of the baby boy who was born today, we can face this ending with hope, knowing that this ending is only a new beginning....