On December 23, Little Stuff got the bug of ’09 as she, Grandpa and I drove to Augusta; she promptly unloaded her previous meals, snacks and juices all over inside the Jeep. Grandpa managed to find a safe spot to pull off the road, and we began using the paper towels for the mop up operation. I held a shivering, sobbing little girl in my arms as I stripped her down and changed her into warm clothes. Grandpa used layers of towels to make the car seat a decent place to sit because we still had 45 minutes to go on our trip.
Following the domino effect, I got the bug next, and Gran Davenport had it by Christmas afternoon. What do you do when months of expectations for a Georgia family gathering from Massachussetts, Maryland, and Hawaii collide with the flu? Readjust! At various stages of the blah’s, we all manage to get to the 5 PM candlelight service and then on to the Japanese restaurant, a family tradition on Christmas Eve. Some of us enjoyed small bites of only white rice that night, but we all were there. We arrived home and saw an empty manger that Gran Davenport had created. The next morning. we all saw this baby doll and talked about Jesus’ birthday.
As I thought about feeling lousy as a result of a simple “bug,” I considered the fact that Mary probably suffered terribly, crying out as her labor pains came, not in a hospital, but amid the cold night air. A frist delivery in a hostile environment — no midwife there to bring her aid and comfort. No, it was anything but a silent night where all was calm. It was, however, a labor of love, as the God of the universe became one of us, to live and die for His called children….and that amazing love will always be the hallmark of Christmas.