Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone.  May the holidays bring you health, happiness, peace and the promise of better times.

It's been very busy here.  Finally, everything is done.....except for a little cooking and maybe a couple of things to bake. 

But the gifts are all wrapped; the tree is up and decorated; the lights and decorations are all about; cards and Christmas letters have been sent.

Our beautiful granddaughter will be coming home on leave for 12 days.  I can't wait to see her!!!  Have a bunch of special gifts for her.

So, we're planning on going down to son's house Saturday after Christmas and spending a few days with him, fiancé, and granddaughter.

Since son's fiancé has been in the final throws of studying for exams for her RN degree, they haven't gotten it all together for Christmas.  She graduates today!!!  So this will give them a few days to get prepared.  Granddaughter flies in Saturday night before Christmas and she will be staying with them until she goes back to the Army base Jan. 2.

This has been a bad year for me, emotionally.  I don't know why, but my sister told me a few months ago that she's been going through the same thing.  She suggested that it could be because our parents' house was finally sold (to our brother) after 2 years of jumping through hoops and a lot of frustration.  It's a done deal.  Is that the reason for this emptiness?  A feeling of loss?  Of heartache?  Maybe so.  All I know is, I miss my mother and father more this year than in the past 3 years.  I think of them every minute of every day and even imagine what it would be like if my mom was living here with us at this moment.  My dad passed away 6 months before her.

The memories of Christmases past have been flooding my heart and mind these few weeks.  Memories from being a kid, to my kids being small, to just a few years ago when mom and pop were still with us.

When my dad passed away, I was returned his pocket watch that I bought him for Christmas over 30 years ago.  He was a railroad engineer.  The watch had an engine engraved on the back of it.  I had a leather pouch made for it with his initials burned on the back of the pouch.  He wore it to work every day.  I was so proud of that watch.

Somewhere along the way, the watch stopped working.  Because he was retiring, it was never repaired.  Until this Christmas.  I took it to the jeweler.  The intention was to gift it to my oldest son, who loved my father so much and I know still misses him terribly to this day.

The watch was repaired.  I wrote a note to my son to say I hope he will use the watch and remember Grandpa, who loved him more than he could know and more than he could even show.  I also found a beautiful snapshot of my son and dad together, taken 13 years ago.  I bought a beautiful frame for it and sent it along with the watch.

My sister asked me a few weeks ago if I thought my son would like the flag that was presented to my mother at Pop's  funeral.  Of course he would!  She's giving that to him for Christmas.  BH and I bought the triangular case for it, and he will receive that also.

For all his life, but more so over the last 10 years or so, my son has been my dad's right-hand man.  Something needed to be repaired in the John.   The van needed to be John.  They needed a ride somewhere, or be picked up from John.  Snowplow the driveway....John showed up at first daylight, no call needed.   And he was always there.  He even did things for them they never expected.  Like, my father telling him that it was very cold in the bathroom; made him get chilled after a shower; never seemed to be warm.  The next day, John went out and bought a wall heater and installed it in their bathroom.  My father was soooo happy.  And John would take no money for it.. it was his gift to them.

When my dad died, my mother relied on John for everything.  She even had him go over the insurance policies, deposit the checks in her account, add them up and tell her how much she had in her bank account.  He would go over there every morning before work, bringing her a gourmet coffee and doughnuts or sweet mother's favorite things!

When she became very ill the last month of her life and had to live with my sister, John went over every morning to stay with her while my sister was at work.  He brought her meals, carried her to the bathroom, took her to the doctor.

I don't know what possessed me to go on like this.  Except to say that I have a son who has been a gift from God for me and all the family.  I feel I could never do enough to show him how much I love him and how much he is appreciated.  When family members say to me..."that John!  Where did he come from....he is a Godsend!", my heart just bursts with pride.  He can do anything and he is meticulous about his handiwork.  Never refuses anyone; he has a heart of gold.  He is my angel.  And being 1200 miles away from him is sometimes almost more than I can bear.

He has been our gift that just keeps on giving.  Christmas is the time I can give a little back to him.


Sandra Knapp said...

I'm so glad you are going to spend the Holidays with your son and granddaughter. And I hope that being with them will brighten your spirit too. I think a lot of people get a bit depressed this time of year. The short, dark and dreary days have something to do with it, I know. But being Xmas time, we all have so many memories that flood our minds at this time too, and that can sometimes be painful as well. As long as your parents are in your thoughts and your heart, they are with you. You have all those wonderful memories of them, so hold tight to them, and let them make you feel warm all over. Have a wonderful Holiday!! :)

Linda said...

Thank you so much, Sandie. You are so right. May you and your family have a Merry, Blessed Christmas.