Christmas 1999

Silent Night, Holy Night 1999

The wonder of this year is that there were so few crises. Rebecca, 26, is still in Baltimore, working, rock climbing, dancing, wondering where life will take her next. Jonathan, 25, finally secured the job of his dreams and is now a flight attendant for Frontier Airlines.

Matthew, 23, is in school training to be a pilot, bringing a life long dream of his to fruition. In a recent e-mail Matthew wrote,
“I have this memory of my childhood, when I was about 6. My brother Jon and I are standing together at the Walker Field Air Terminal in Grand Junction. Our faces are pressed against the glass looking out across the tarmac as another jet taxis to the gate. We would stare in fascination as stairs would unfold, a door would open, and people would exit the aircraft. Captivated, we watched as another airplane, this one with propellers, accelerated down the runway and leapt into the air. We were fascinated by a completely different world in front of us. A world where the miracle of flight is seen first hand, live and in color. We would point out everything we saw to each other, making sure no detail would go unnoticed. All too soon it was time to go home. We would be pried from the glass by our mother, who immediately pointed out what a mess we just made of a perfectly clean window. Sure enough we could see noses, cheeks, chins and hand prints all over the glass. It looked as if two children had just made a serious attempt at breaking through and getting to the other side. I landed at Walker Field today as part of the process of getting my Private Pilot’s License. The solo flight was a beautiful experience. As I taxied past the terminal at Walker Field I saw the same large glass windows from my childhood and realized that Jon and I were now both on the other side. It never ceases to amaze me how life can come full circle.”

Rachel, 21, and her partner Kelly are completing their master’s degrees in sociology. Ruben, 23, is a cook in a local cafĂ© – where locals know they will get the best food for the best prices anywhere in this resort area. I love to go in and “kiss the cook.” Robert, 22, remains in prison. His fight is not so much with the world as with himself – to see if he can keep his temper in check. James, 22, also is on the inside looking out through the bars and can expect to remain there for at least another 5 years. He is enrolled in college and so doing his time well! Jesse, 20, has fathered another child, Damien, born May 26. His first, Dominique, is now over a year old and living with her other grandparents. Amber, 18, is about to accomplish what few in her birth family have done – graduate from high school. She plans to become a massage therapist. Corey, 18, after much turmoil, is on his own nearby but without communicating with us due to the poor opinion we have of his living situation.

I continue to lecture, write and direct a child placement agency – MAPS Colorado – and am managing several foster homes as well as placing children for adoption. Paul remains with Public Service Company of Colorado (so far) as it heads into its second merger in three years. At the end of April Paul and I went to Japan and China for two weeks. Did all the usual touristy things like climb the Great Wall and enjoyed an entirely different change of pace. Coincidentally we were in Beijing when the Chinese students attacked the American Embassy after their embassy in Belgrade was bombed. The major trauma of the year, however, occurred on January 24, when Paul’s dad, Werth passed into eternity at age 80. Entirely unexpected we are still dealing with the aftershocks in his mother’s life.

In a year overall filled with calm we welcome the Christ – not needing the glitz of the wisemen, star, angels, and shepherds. Not needing the trauma drama of filled inns, Herod, death of innocents, betrayal and flight. Not needing the tree, presents, carols and bright lights. Just the Christ child, born to a woman, nursing, snuggling, cooing, doing all the things babies and moms need to do to prepare a child, any child, to be both a giver and receiver of love. A love that in every home needs to transcend the cradle so the human race can become a part of something bigger than any one child, born any one year, under any one star, to any young woman. A love which sets aside hatred, fights injustice and begets “peace on earth and good will to all men.” What was begun in Bethlehem many centuries ago must be born in every child, every person, every day if the message of Christ to the ages is to be heard. Without it the wisemen, the star, the tinsel, the trappings all become irrelevant.

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given.
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven.

Peace and Joy to you and yours,

Deborah and Paul