Yes, I’m THAT guy. I am still listening to Christmas music on April 10th. My only wish is that Easter music was so widely created. (I do love several traditional Easter songs too, such as “He’s Alive”, “Because He Lives” and “He Arose” to name a few).
It is amazing and it brings me joy that “O Holy Night” is such a pop culture phenomenon. People of all world religions (and none at all) have clung to and performed this song beautifully… much like “Amazing Grace”. This song was arguably the third best gift from France to America in history (The Statue of Liberty and the Louisiana “Purchase” …OK…that second one wasn’t free, but it was a K-Mart Blue Light Special price at $15m for 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River. Note: French fries and French toast deserve consideration for any list like this).
Here are some of its powerful lyrics, all of which sound great when belted from all types of voices:
“O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O night divine.
I bring up nights at the cornbread table thinking about the many lonely and harrowing nights of the memory care unit patients and staff. Sundowners, which I have written about here many times, has returned to rear its ugly, roaring head in mom’s life. She had a rough night Monday night that I didn’t find out about until it was too late to post here. Her day yesterday was ok, although she was uber-tired from walking, pacing, and being sad/bored all night. She is talking more, walking more, eating more, exploring more, and fretting more. Meds to help in these situations are such a balancing act! On the scale: easing anxiety and behavior issues with reducing the quality of life. his balance is something you can expect significant time thinking about until your loved one gets to the very last stages of the disease. Then, at the end, these care concerns will pass the baton to pain/death management concern.
I also wonder about the life of a night staff member of a memory unit employee. I do feel like a lesser kindred spirit with them from the few months of my wife and I spent caring for my wife’s grandma at her home 24/7 when she had cancer (and possibly an undiagnosed cognitive impairment). Nighttime brings idle hands, restlessness and exploring. A sometimes docile soul in the daytime can transform into a frustrated and tired mess with no notice. In a care unit, there has to be tension of falls from tired residents. Every little sound has to raise an eyebrow! Already underpaid in many cases, these night staffers have a lot of turnover and it is hard to train what to expect at night at a memory unit since new experiences happen all of the time.
So we press on, singing Christmas carols… I look so forward, solely for mom’s sake and with crushing guilt for even daring to think about it, to mom’s entering into heaven someday and exiting this train wreck.
“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;”
Minus a miracle cure, I rejoice thinking of the new, future hope that the believing world rejoices about that was made possible beginning with the subject of the song! Christ entered the world that Christmas morning to begin to prepare His people for a new and glorious morn with Him later in Heaven. He died and was raised Easter to purchase this future for believers. Until we die or He returns, we love, we serve, we pray, we advocate, we visit, we give, we love more, we hug, we scour the internet for “cures” and we sing and dream wearily of glorious days to come.
Here are a couple versions of O’ Holy Night for your consideration: