I just walked away from the piano in our church's sanctuary, my eyes damp. I'm stunned I didn't lose it all together. The last chorus I led for our worship service was "Agnus Dei." The chorus says "Holy are you Lord God Almighty, worthy is the Lamb..." The book of Revelation tells us these are words that are coming from heavenly beings in praise to God even as I type this. I can only imagine the actual, glorious sound of those words being proclaimed in heaven, but Mom is experiencing them first-hand. As I was leading the song, I thought of Mom, in heaven, relieved from her cancer-ridden body, graduated from this world, promoted to the presence of Almighty God and in the company of her Savior. Today, Mom and I were praising the Lord at the same time, just in different places. And I thought, this will be Mom's best Christmas ever. The day before she died, I told her I was going to miss her this Thanksgiving and Christmas. And her being Mom 'til the end said to me, "I'm sorry about that," to which I responded through tears, "Don't apologize, you're going to be having a great time!" And she is, right now. She gets to party with the Birthday Boy. She also told me before she died, "Remember the good times." This being Christmas time, there's a lot to choose from, like when we were younger, she'd put numbers on our presents instead of our names to keep us from figuring who's were who's, or when she outlined a Christmas tree shape out of gold garland over our fire place, and that was our tree that year. Her cooking the Christmas dinner with that incessant towel over her shoulder, contorting her body to get just the right camera angle, and her crying last year when I gave her a framed black and white picture of me kissing my son Max. Cards and letters made her cry a lot the last year she was here. But no more. God has wiped every tear from her eyes and she is about to have her best Christmas ever. I still can't believe she's gone, don't know when and if that feeling will ever leave me, but this morning, December 23 2007, I had no doubt where she had gone to and what she's doing right now. The merriest of Christmases to you, Mom, and that's not just a wish, for it is your reality.