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Thoughts from Dr. Joe: A Christmas memory

December 22, 2010|By Joe Puglia

I've always been a seeker, searching for meaning and asking that timeless question, "What makes life significant?" I've contemplated the perplexities of existence, trying to understand moments of euphoria as though they were the result of a simple mathematical equation easily reproduced. For me, two plus two has never been four.

Life should be lived, not analyzed. Regardless of understanding, the magical play continues; and it is up to us to contribute a verse. The question is not one of understanding, but "What will our verse be?" We make life significant.

Christmas evokes such musings, especially in an era where meaning is skewed toward triviality. As I search for deeper meaning, I ask, "Is that all there is?" The imagination, mysticism and fantasy of Christmas often hide behind one of three doors. If you follow the lead of the masses, you'll choose the wrong door.

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A few years back, The Valley Sun published the following story during Christmas. I've tweaked it some, but the sentiments within are my connection to the miracle of the season. Simplicity is the conduit toward meaning. I am convinced that the miracle of Christmas is the joining of this world with the next.

Christmas 2005 was our last one with Rick Crocker. Rick was a man's man who could run with the wolves and then put two little girls to bed with a sweet lullaby. He was the consummate warrior, with battle ribbons from Panama, Somalia, Desert Storm and Iraq. He was poised for his third tour and was spending Christmas with us prior to shipping out.

The story begins on Christmas Eve with Kaitzer unwrapping our nativity set and meticulously placing it on the mantel. Rick was frolicking with the girls and being his usual menacing self. As Kaitzer placed the pieces in the manger, she began to tell the girls the story of the nativity.

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