Monday, December 22, 2014

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas Day is my very favorite Christmas song.
This song is so dear to my heart and here is why:

Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who in 1861 suffered a very personal 
tragedy, which inspired this beautiful song.
A unusual heat wave in Massachusetts prompted Longfellow’s wife, 
Fanny, to trim the heavy locks of their seven year old daughter, Edith. 
Fanny decided to preserve little Edie’s curls in an envelope, 
As she heated wax to seal it, hot drops fell unnoticed onto her dress,
and caught on fire.
 Fanny rushed into Longfellow’s study.  Longfellow first tried to extinguish the 
flames with a rug, and when that failed he threw his body onto his wife, 
severely burning his face, arms and hands.  
Fanny Longfellow died the next morning. 
Fanny was buried three days later on their 18th wedding anniversary.
Too ill from his burns and grief, Henry did not attend her funeral.
(Hence Longfellow's trademark full beard 
arose from his inability to shave after this tragedy.
Mr. Nielson knows that pain all too well.)
I think you would understand why this song is so important to me.
Mr. Nielson and I can't sing this song without tears of every emotion possible. 
This song is actually a love song- our love song full of peace and hope.
My favorite lines from the song are these two particularly verses:
"And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"
There was a time in my life when I was sure that all was lost.
I was sure I would never be happy, never find peace, and never care 
about anything or anyone ever again. 
 I was despaired and peace in my life was very hard to come by.
Just as Longfellow says; "The wrong shall fail, the right prevail"
I felt my wrongs were made right, my pain diminished and I found peace again.
 With God, anything is possible.  Even happiness and peace
in the worst situations is possible.
I am a witness of that.

Happy Christmas week!!
Enjoy this