I've got some pleasant secular Christmas music playing and it puts me in touch with Christmas at my grandmothers back when I was a child under ten. I was barely aware of the religious meaning of Christmas back then. Christmas meant good food--chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, followed by fruit salad and pies--the likes of which only she could cook. In the afternoon there was more good food--grapes, oranges, and popcorn balls and homemade mashmallows. There was the lemon yellow softwood floor of her livingroom with a long table set up where Dad and his brothers would spend the afternoon singing. As I got older I tried to sing along.
I found a bit on the internet where a man and woman sing the chorus of "In the Sweet Bye and Bye." That always takes me back to the yellow livingroom floor of at my grandmother's house. There were pleasant times before the terrible time of troubles started. Perhaps it is possible to latch onto these pleasant times and make them part of who I am now, make the past my future. And my grandmother can live on in my heart, in my person, in who I am.