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Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light;
in him there is no darkness at all.

Today marks the second anniversary of Andrea's funeral.  Yes this is a great week in my life.  As many of you may know we lived in Alaska for six years.  We loved the summers there and we endured the winters.  Although I did enjoy the snow, the guaranteed white Christmas and snowboarding with my boys Andrea was not too much of a fan of the Alaska winters. The winter days can be cold and dark and it was the darkness that really bothered Andrea. 

As a pilot I remember we would fly in the winter and almost without a doubt we would climb though the clouds and eventually breakout and see the sun.  It felt so good to fell the sun shinning in your eyes.  I would tell Andrea even though it is cloudy and dark down here the sun is still shinning you just have to get through the clouds.  Sometimes when life is difficult we need to remember that the sun is still shines.

Andrea loved getting her daily dose of Vitamin D.  During Andrea’s treatment in Alaska if there was a sunny winter day I take Andrea for a drive and park the car facing south and let her feel the sun through the windshield.  In North Carolina she would go and sit in the “Brick Oven” which was the brick wall of our house that faced south.  She would take a blanket outside and sit against the brick wall and absorb the heat of the sun.  We had been known to sit out there and fall asleep. I sure the neighbors thought what are the Ravellas doing now!  But the rare sunny day in Alaska was little help to Andrea who did not have an F-15E she could jump in and get her daily fix of sunshine.  So to help her I bought her a special light to put in the house to trick her body think it was daytime.  In the winter she would set it up in the kitchen and when you walked it was so bright that if you ever turned it off even with the regular lights on it seemed dark.  Forget the fact that the label said only use it for 15 minutes at a time, Andrea would live it on for hours. 

Dec 21st is the winter solstice a day Andrea always looked forward to when we lived in Alaska because it signified the end of winter.  Well actually "winter" carried on until around April but Dec 21st was the shortest day of the year.  Starting on Dec 22 the days started getting longer and that always made Andrea happy because she knew it signified the beginning of the end of the dark days.

There are many symbolisms to me in Andrea's funeral being on 21 Dec. Not just because it is the shortest day of the year and as the shortest day of the year my suffering was limited. But because it was the day when the earth begins its shift back towards the sun.  In a way I feel a comfort that Andrea was laid to rest on the shortest day as if God gave me that little gift to say, “I was not going to change the day I took her but I will limit the time you will suffer, for tomorrow the light returns.”  The earth turning back towards the sun, as Andrea went to be with the Son.  Darkness starting giving way to light.  Life continued and a faithful God was with me, as sure as the sun will rise each day, He was still with me.

I will celebrate another anniversary this month,  Dec 25th the day Ginger and I met but I will save that for another blog.

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