Meet Itzel…with an unabashed, joyous soul, she epitomizes the splendor of Christmas.
Children renew our energy and help us rediscover life. If you have a child nearby, I want you to take some time to seriously contemplate them, looking closely and listening carefully to them. If you do not have children nearby, Itzel is here to help you recapture the beauty of the season. No matter how deeply sad this Christmas may be for you, children can, like that precious baby the first Christmas, offer your heart some respite.
Look intently into the eyes of a child, what do you see? Are they glistening? If so, it is a mirror of their inner excitement. So many things animate them, maybe it is the anticipation of a hug, or the thought of Santa coming down the chimney with a new bike. Their eyes speak exhilaration at play or as they sit on your lap, or when they walk into a room to discover someone or something they love. We all need some elation in life, a little healthy joy, and if you have lost yours, set yourself a Christmas promise to find it again. I highly recommend you begin in the eyes of a child.
Now, look upon the lips of this same child. Itzel has dimples that make her smile a treasure, producing an instantaneous smile upon the face of the observer. When a child smiles, it is with their complete self, when they laugh their entire face joins the party. Observe your reaction as you look at a smiling child. Do not the muscles in your face relax, triggering an automatic grin?
Now for the real challenge, listen for a child’s love. It may be in their words, their silence, or their behavior. They may be telling you how much they admire you, or that they trust you unconditionally, or that you are just the absolute best! The love of a child manifests in so many ways. A child’s natural hunger for love reminds us that self-care and self-love are among the best gifts we can give ourselves this Christmas.
Itzel is the daughter of my first cousin, once removed. She is 21 months old. I have never been in the same room with her or even held her. But through the magic of Facebook, Itzel has touched me, reminding me how precious life is, how I need to slow down and relish the real miracles of each day. And most of all I love her daily antics, like giving herself a face massage with her breakfast yogurt. Itzel has taught me that life, though it may be painful at times, remains a mixture of agony and elation and during the Christmas season, as all year through, I can pay tribute to both.
We wish you a Childlike, Joyous Christmas!
Bev & Rick Mansfield, Ricky Mansfield
and the entire Miles Funeral Home Staff.