The Holiday season of 2012 saw the first Christmas in our new home, and we were excited that my mother was going to spend it with us. Uwe and I had gone in together with Pat to purchase mom a new digital camera, and we couldn’t wait to give it to her!
One evening while we were having supper, we were listening to a new CD Uwe had purchased for me titled “Christmas Cello”. The third song on the CD is titled “Simple Gifts”. As it is playing, mom starts rocking back and forth to the tune and announced “I like this one”! Uwe then told her the song had words, and we discovered the version with words is titled “Lord of the Dance”. Mom’s eyes lit up brighter than a Christmas tree when she heard that title, so Uwe took the trouble to find the words, written by Sydney Carter. When he came back we played the song again while he sang to it to her.
I danced in the morning when the world was young
I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun
I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth
Dance, dance, wherever you may be
I am the lord of the dance, said He
And I lead you all, wherever you may be
And I lead you all in the dance, said He…”
See here for the full version: http://celtic-lyrics.com/lyrics/309.html
Mom began to cry (as was usual), and she looked like a radiant little girl the whole time Uwe was singing. I will never forget it. It was her favorite Christmas gift that year, and from that moment on she took that tune with her everywhere she went. She sang it to her “Praying Grandmothers” group, to her friends, to her doctors, to her little church congregation. She sang that song to anyone who would listen.
That was our last Christmas with mom before she passed away from Cancer the following July. Pat got the camera, but as for that Simple Gift, I’m sure mom entered the Gates of Heaven singing it, dancing along with Jesus down the streets of gold.