When memories of our past come to haunt us. They are not always bad.
Memories of Past
During this holiday season, we all step back in time. Memories of our past Christmas's come to haunt us. Good or bad, they're still jarred back into our lives. This year, mine took me back to several different seasons, those of my childhood, my children, and my present Christmas. Due to the season changes in my life, it has triggered those memories.
I remember a time with my parents, my two sisters and two brothers. I grew up in a relatively low-income family. Back in the early '60s, my father was working for a company that didn't pay for travel and other accommodations. My father kept most of the money to live on for himself, sending Mom money when there was any left. When he was in one spot longer than three months, we would sometimes get to move with him. With Mom trying to keep us in school, it proved to be complicated. Sometimes we lived with her relatives or in our van.
I remember this particular Christmas. I was about eight years old. I had started questioning my mom about, "Why didn't her parents buy us something else other than the dollar dolls from TG&Y? We always got the same doll every year." She explained to me that they had so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, they couldn't afford much. I asked her, "How many do they have?" She told me that they had over 25 and more on the way. "WOW!" I said.
She asked me, "Why do you ask?" I told her because daddy's parents give us expensive gifts, and they're always different each year. I asked, "Does that mean that they love us more?" "No," she told me. "My parents love you so much. You give a gift to someone that you love very much. It shows them that you are thinking of them. No matter the cost, it is a gift of love. That's why we make homemade gifts to give one another. It's just like God gave us Jesus to show us how much He loves us."
As I grew older, I learned about the gift of God and cherished those memories with my mom and her family. Although they're all in Heaven now, they're some of my fondest memories. It leads me to memories of Christmas with my sons, where I indulged relentlessly on my boys. I guess I was making up for my childhood. As I watched my sons grow into men and watched their Christmas traditions with their children, it reminded me there is still love in this world, if you hand it down from generation to generation.
I celebrated Christmas with my son and his girlfriend. It was supposed to be a quiet Christmas with no one around. They decided Mom shouldn't be alone. My Christmas was a reminder of the past. See, my son and I were almost homeless less than a month ago. A friend helped us out and let us stay at her parent's old home with only a fireplace for heat. We had no money to purchase gifts. But by the Grace of God, we had a roof over our heads, food on the table, each other. For gift-giving, I gave the grand-dogs a ride in the car, and my son and his girlfriend a Christmas photoshoot.
My sons never knew about my family being homeless for years until now. This past 20 months, he experienced job loss, the loss of custody of his children, and the loss of his home. Even after I moved in to help him, it was a domino effect. We couldn't stop. With his skills and required pay, finding a job was difficult.
He told me, "I learned the true meaning of Christmas. Always count your blessings and love those God has given to you. It's not the amount of money you spend. It's time you spend with them that counts. I love you, Mom."
He leaned down to gently place a kiss on my forehead as his girlfriend snapped the photo.
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Musing and Memories
December 26, 2017