Blog, christmas, memories, mother, music

It’s All About Perspective

Day 69

We have power, WiFi and cell service back. Now we just wait for fuel delivery which I hope will be today. The house feels hot after so many days of rationing the fuel and the heat. Now that we aren’t running the generator, we can more easily let the heat run on its normal schedule.

There is a lot going on here that I am unable to share at this moment. I will hopefully be here daily to update my blog but as it was this past weekend with the power outage, some things are just out of our control. I am focusing my energy on the reason for this upcoming holiday and doing my best to stay true to that goal.

Christmas Memories

Does anyone go Christmas Caroling these days? I loved going when I was growing up. We always had a group of untrained and unprofessional voices that came together and went out at night, house to house singing carols. We came back home to hot cocoa and cookies.

I imagine so many things have changed, that this old tradition is more difficult. Admittedly, I grew up in a place where everyone practiced the same religion. Caroling was welcome. In more spiritually diverse neighborhoods, this could be seen as offensive and unwelcome.

In addition to diversity, so many of us do not even know our neighbors anymore. In many cases, we are afraid to knock on a door when we do not know who lives there. We are so fearful of what we do not know and do not understand. And most of us do very little to bridge those gaps.

IMG_8051One memory I hold close to my heart was the Christmas my mother was suffering from terminal cancer. We belonged to a little church with a very small congregation. Mom was so sick she could not get out of bed or go to church. I remember lying in the bed holding her as she cried — she was in so much pain. One evening, some of the congregation came to our house, stood outside mom’s bedroom window and sang Christmas carols for her. She was so touched and enjoyed it so much. It is a bittersweet memory. One I will forever cherish.

Now I am off to make a cup of coffee and some toast. Then out to feed the birds and get on with my day.

“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.” 
Mitch Albom

 

 

 

Blog, children, christmas, Family, grandchildren, memories

Frosty

Day 53

I just trashed the last two blog posts I wrote. I have a few things on my mind, but putting thoughts into words and making it cohesive just is not happening for me tonight. Perhaps it is not the right time because my thoughts were more serious in nature. So now, I switch gears for the third time. Let’s see how this goes.

Memories of My Children

Today I continued to unpack more Christmas decor. I found more ornaments and decorations that my children made throughout the years.

I cut open the tape, open the cardboard flaps and memories come pouring out. I can see my children — both small and delighted about all the excitement that surrounds Christmas. I can hear their young voices playing over and over in my head. It’s magical how the mind works. It is a gift to be able to hold on to the cherished memories and yet pack away those memories we wish to forget.

I vividly remember how proud my children were when they brought home creations they made with guidance from their very patient teachers. At the time, it seemed like they grew so slowly, but looking back, the time has flown. That’s the thing about life.

Frosty the Snowman

IMG_7894One of my oldest decorations is a ceramic Frosty. He’s designed to have a candle inside him, but I never put candles inside. It sat on the table as sort of a centerpiece.

At dinner, my children always had a 1-A-Day vitamin after they ate. I can still remember them feeding their vitamins to Frosty over and over until either they tired of it or mom intervened and made them take their vitamin.

Every Day is Special

All I have to share tonight is to tell you that every little moment is special. These moments become the memories that you hold close throughout your life. And when your children are grown and living on their own, these are the memories that will comfort and sustain you.

These are also the stories you will tell your grandchildren about their parents. They love to hear all about the times when their parents were young like they are.

“Parents, keep your children closer when they are young,
because they will keep you closer when you’re old” 
Zybejta Beta Metani’ Marashi

 

blessings, Blog, children, christmas, friends, grandchildren, Home, memories, music, parents, reflection, sister, traditions

The Floodwaters

Day 51

Today started off with our normal routine of coffee, a walk and then breakfast. Afterward hubby brought in all the Christmas boxes from our storage area so I could start unpacking and decorate the tree.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with one of our daughters in South Carolina. It was a truly beautiful day with lots of good food and conversation. Lots of children there, too, which always makes it fun.

Today I talked with my son. He spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta with his wife’s family. They are a wonderful group of people and I know they had a great time and a lot of wonderful food as well.

Christmas Memories

christmastreeToday I chose the Martina McBride Christmas channel on Pandora — decorating is much nicer with Christmas music. I love the mix of music on this station so it was perfect.

Hubby helped me start the lights because the tree is just too tall for me. I unpacked boxes and pulled out more lights so we could see if we had enough to go around the tree. Once the lights were low enough for me to reach he went back outside and I continued the lights.

All was going well until “How Great Thou Art” came on. I could feel my eyes welling up with tears. It is a song that touches me in ways I cannot fully explain. When my mother died, that song ran through my head as I flew back to Ohio where I was stationed while in the Air Force. I remember writing my Dad a letter on that flight and somewhere I have packed away the letter he wrote to me in return. This song brings the memory front and center.

As I unpacked decorations, my life from the time I was a child, until the time when my children were growing up through our life as we gained six grandchildren and all the way to this time of retirement poured out in abundance. I was overwhelmed with — not sadness — but a great wave of emotion for all the people who have come and gone in my life and those still here but yet so far away.

I was starting to struggle…

Thankfully, my daughters and my granddaughter video chatted me on Facebook. It was such a great lift. For most of the Christmas seasons in the 22 years since hubby and I were married, they were with us. We shopped together, had Christmas coffees together, and talked ‘nunya’s’ from Thanksgiving until Christmas when we would celebrate together. Now they have a daughter and seeing her enjoy the first Christmas she can somewhat understand is amazing.

Retirement can be a lonely time sometimes and tonight I am a little melancholy. Putting up the tree and decorating is always emotional for me. Our tradition has always been a ‘memory tree’. When we hang the ornaments, each one is named for someone who has passed on or simply someone we love who just cannot be with us at Christmas.  I have not started the ornaments yet. It is always an emotional time for me. So, why do I put myself through it?

I do it because the love I have been fortunate enough to experience in my life is worth the remembering and the tears. After the ornaments are hung, each time I pass the tree, I will think of and remember those people whom I love and miss so much.

I am Blessed

The early part of the Christmas season is always this way for me. I am so blessed and so thankful for everything I have in my life. We have much to look forward to this year. Two grandchildren’s birthdays are upcoming. We are going to see the lights at the North Carolina Arboretum with our daughter and her family. We also have a Christmas band concert and a piano recital to attend as well.

So, dear readers, I will love and enjoy this Christmas season as I always have. It holds every memory about where I come from, who I have been and who I am today. For me, it is symbolic of the faith I hold close and all of those things bring me great joy. I just need to get through this part. The tearful, wonderful and sacred memories of all the people I hold so dear to my heart.

And to my children. When I text too much or call too much just know it is because I am missing you. I am so thankful that each of you has full and meaningful lives, but it does not make me miss you any less. That’s the stuff that moms’ hearts are made of.

“Christmas is not a date on a calendar. It’s more than a state of mind. It’s a condition of the heart.” 
Toni Sorenson