Christmas Eve, Evening
Judith “Judy” A. Kingham
August 8, 1937 – December 27, 2016
Two years ago, tonight between the five o’clock and nine o’clock Christmas Eve Candlelight Services, I went to Winter Haven Hospital to visit my dear friend Judy. She and I shared a birthday and we had been friends for eighteen years. She was on the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee that called me to First Presbyterian Church and she had served on the Local Committee as I pursued my Doctor of Ministry degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Over the course of those years, we had some very good times in different activities of the church. She was a great encourager and was so supportive!
In that hospital room we knew that she did not have much more time on this earth. I asked if I could do anything for her and she asked me to sing and she requested Silent Night. I sang that beloved carol for her and affirmed how much I loved her before I left to return to the church for the nine o’clock service.
As I think about Judy and this most wonderful time of the year, I am reminded of a special outing she enjoyed with her grandchildren, Morgan and Austin Schreiber. Somewhere from early to mid-December, she and they would miss church services on a Sunday. Judy would pack a picnic lunch for them and off Judy, Morgan, and Austin would go to see a performance of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker. They would do this for about six years. Judy was always excited about this outing and she always reported them as having had a good time. What Judy was really doing was making memories for her grandchildren, Morgan and Austin. If Judy had the opportunity, I am certain that she would have enjoyed making some memories for her great-granddaughter, Lauren.
I miss my friend Judy so much, as I am sure her family and other friends do, too! I know Morgan and Austin are glad that Judy made memories for them … a picnic lunch in December, seeing the holiday classic The Nutcracker, and having a grandmother dote on them. It is easy to imagine that Judy would have written about this favorite Christmas thing for this devotional if she were with us.
~ Alan Harvey
Loving God, how blessed we are to have grandparents and to be able to spend time with them – making memories to treasure for years. We are grateful for those who remain with us and for those who have joined the Church Triumphant. Keep us mindful that adults can “adopt” grandchildren and children can “claim” adults to be their surrogate grandparents when situations present those opportunities. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.