Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I sat to write these words, my annual Christmas letter, and I didn’t know where to begin.  Several days ago, in Newtown Connecticut, twenty innocent children were slaughtered.  Needlessly.  Collectively, our hearts grieve.  Our minds are numbed by our lack of understanding.  How to write about the Joy of the Christmas season in the face of this tragedy?

Traditionally, I begin these letters with words from my favorite writer, Madeleine L’Engle, and turning to her book The Irrational Season, I found this reflection of the Feast of the Holy Innocents.  Please forgive the length...


“This is a festival? This remembering of the slaughter of all those babies under two years of age whose only wrong was to have been born at a time when three Wise Men came out of the East to worship a great causes me to ask painful questions about the love of God.  That is love? How can we understand it? Do we even want it? I sometimes get very angry at God, and I do not feel guilty about it, because the anger is an affirmation of faith.  You cannot get angry at someone who is not there.  So the raging is for me a necessary step towards accepting that God’s way of loving is more real than man’s, that this irrational, seemingly unsuccessful love is what it’s all about, is what created the galaxies, is what keeps the stars in their courses, is what gives all life value and meaning...Through the darkness of my uncomprehending, through my pain and weakness, only thus may I try to become open to God’s love…”

We cannot always understand the whys and wherefores of this world.  We rage, and weep; and then we dry our eyes and look to tomorrow.  Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.  (To quote another favorite author…) We look for the helpers, as Mr. Rogers taught us, and we light a candle to spite the darkness.  The sun rises, the children grow.  We gather close to our loved ones and reach out to those who live far away…

We were very fortunate to be able to visit family and friends in Pittsburgh this summer, where the kids continued their tradition of attending St. Philips Kidz Kamp.  David went on a week-long trip with Youth Group, and the kids and I visited family in MA, and my brother (and Sue’s!) lake house in PA.  Don went to Cook’s Forest in PA last month to go camping with some of his buddies, and we all joined the scouts on a weekend camping trip here in VA. We also spent Thanksgiving in Bethesda, MD with my sister, where this picture was taken.  Family is so important, and we’re so glad to be able to see them as much as we do.

And speaking of children growing...David is halfway through his final year of middle school.  We’re researching academy programs for high school, and beginning the difficult process of trying to figure out where he should focus his interests.  He continues to study Latin and violin, but he seems to find the most pleasure in designing computer games and building websites.  He just achieved the rank of Jr. Black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and we are extremely proud of him.

Timmy began playing violin this year, and just today performed as Linus in the church Christmas play.  His first role on the stage was in the children’s chorus of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in April. He is completing his final couple of months as a Cub Scout, and will join the Boy Scouts in February.  He’s got his eye on Eagle Scout, and I have no doubt that with his determination and drive, he will accomplish it someday!

Emily is enjoying her second year of ballet classes.  She had her first recital in May, and danced beautifully—right through her nerves! She also played a non-speaking role in my final performance at Regent, as one of the school children in Doubt.  Her love of reading has grown immensely, and she has a quirky and delightful sense of humor.

I graduated from Regent in May with my MFA, and immediately went down to Naples, FL to perform in an International Arts Festival.  Upon returning, I started working at Studio Center as an On-Camera Talent Director.  It’s been incredibly challenging and I’ve learned SO much about the Camera side of the acting business.

I, and all three kids, had our first television acting experience when the new season of A Haunting was filmed in Hampton Roads this summer.  Although the boys’ roles were significantly shortened, and Emily’s was cut altogether, we all had a great time and learned a lot! Timmy, Emily and I also filmed a commercial for a local pizza company, and David and Emily have gotten work doing voiceovers for radio commercials.  Now we just have to get the acting bug to bite Don…

We’ve been blessed beyond measure.  Many of our friends and family have experienced loss and heartache and pain in 2012.  And we’ve certainly had our struggles as well.  But we are healthy.  We have each other. I still get to tuck my kids in at night and kiss them goodbye in the morning.  I’m going to have a new nephew to cuddle in a couple of months.  Despite it all, because of it all...Love is stronger.


Please, hold your loved ones close and celebrate the Light this Christmas.


Monday, December 17, 2012

New post coming soon...