Every year as we take down our Christmas decorations, I always put them on the shelf in the basement.  I find myself remembering the year before as I did this very same thing.  I think about how much changed in one years time.  Sometimes the year was full of good changes and, of course, its challenges while other years have simply been a bit too full of challenges and stresses. I usually say a prayer that when I return to this spot again next year and am holding this same box of ornaments, that we will still all be together and our world will be okay.

I usually put the box away and head upstairs to the general gentle chaos that is our un-decorating time.

This year I decided to become a bit more organized in how I take down my tree ornaments ( thank you to my beautiful neighbor, Diane, for this impetus).  Usually I or we, pluck them off of the tree and drop/gently place them in the storage box that DOES  have cardboard spacers in it for ease of storage of an ornament. It DOES have many layers but it seems we choose the easy way out and put multiple ornaments in every square really negating any good the square spacer actually offers.

So in the end we have an organized mess…

But this year, I bought new organizers, a new bin and rustled up my patience to do a nice job.

The box was purple and I was happy with the color as it set the new apart from the old gray ones.  So with this nice new box, filled with carefully organized ornaments, I set off for the basement. And as I was lifting it up to the shelf, I had that familiar thought of

Where will we all be next year when this new purple box has ridden out the days until we reach for it again?

I am not sure what made me think longer this year…maybe it was that my  beautiful oldest child is now looking at the end of her medical school years and thus, a job somewhere?  Or was it my sweet little man, who is 6 feet talk at age 13, is headed to high school and how can that be?  Or is my beautiful Elizabeth, who with all her special needs, is looking toward a job soon.

I started thinking of all the “ifs”, the question marks ahead and the fact that the ride with each one is not truly certain. And that for none of us, is it certain either.

I thought, if we wait for the certain or the perfect to enjoy the now, we miss so much.

If we wait for it all to be settled or in order, we miss the good stuff on the ride to get there.

So I held this purple box and reflected on our life as a family. I am so happy we took the good things/times and held them close as we bumped along this ride called life.

When Elizabeth’s sensory issues ( she has sensory processing disorder, also called SPD) challenged her and us so much, we still took the good when it was good and celebrated it.  Sure she cried when we were on our first trip away, but her first EVER walk on the beach was amazing!

Or when she cried because her dyspraxia made things so hard to do, we cheered when she learned a SMALL part of the skill. We still made sure to be grateful for that emotional time.

I think we learned early on to celebrate the good, to hold on tight to it and tuck the memories safely away.   Did we do it perfectly?  Absolutely not.  Did I yell or get frustrated?  Just ask my kids about my mood a certain day last week…so YES! ….

I put the purple box on the shelf with a promise to myself to devote time to having a grateful heart more….  For the little things, for the things we may pass over as we find our eyes on settling the big thing/concern in our life.

A grateful heart for the things we see each day or get to do each day.

It is just a perspective  I am sharing, one I know I need as well.

That was the gift of the purple box.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues