Christmas Humbles Me

So, I don’t live in a mansion or anything. I am a suburban housewife who volunteers at school, loves my boys, and tries to take care of any other children who pass my way. We worry about money, try to make ends meet while keeping the uglier side of life away from our children – for now, at least. We’re pretty average, on the whole.

Tonight I had multiple experiences that showed me how blessed I really am.

First, Youngest Son and Middle Son had their Holiday Pageant. They dressed up and sang songs, painted their noses red, and tried to show off their parents to any who would sit still for it. As I had spent my entire day at the school, cutting and gluing (just like yesterday), and helping with “Craft Day”, I was old news to the kids. I got a coupla high fives, and some proud shiny faces shouting at me, “Have you met my MOM!?” Tired looking Moms and Dads shook my hands, wished me Merry Whatever, and we all chased our children down different hallways. It was fun, and sweet, and so very reminiscient of my own childhood. I was happy that my boys will have that same memory.

I then came home to whiny children who complained that they hadn’t eaten enough, and want to stay up long enough to see the Survivor finale, even though it’s way past their bed time. Feliz Navidad, know what I’m sayin’?

But the simmering in my soul came later.

My ex-boyfriend, who I am proud to say is still my friend (and Hubby seems to like him, too) called to tell me that Grandpa is dead. I liked that old man, and I am sorry to see him pass, though I am confident he is with his Maker and happier now than he’s ever been. I added his family to my prayers weeks ago, but now I have a special place for Grandma, who finds herself alone for the first time since she was 19 years old. I asked my ex how I could help – with realistic suggestions like, “does anyone need a ride?” and “Does anyone need leaves raked or homes cleaned?” Let’s face it – when there’s a death in the family, extended family tends to show up, and no one should have to worry that Aunt Fanny will see the dust bunnies. Feel me?

That’s what I want more than anything.  When I’m dead, call in the Merry Maids before my mother sees my house. Once CSI is done, and Hubby has been exonorated, I want the Merry Maids to do a clean sweep. Full-on clean, including grout. No shit. This is my last will and testament, I am of sound mind and body, and I am totally not kidding. The most important thing you can do for me in this life is to make sure my house is CLEAN before my Mother sees it.

But I’ve strayed from my point…

Grandpa was a good man, and his family will miss him. He had an impact on this world – at least his grandson is doing him proud. Which leads me to my nexy story…

My Grandmother died not too long ago. I miss her. My mother misses her even more. Her passing has left a hole in our lives, and we’re really sad she’s gone.

Grandma had a tradition. Every year, she mailed a Christmas Poem. She took the year’s events, made them into a poem, and sent it out to the family. One of the best things Mom ever did was collect all these poems, put them in a book, and before Grandma died -(your timing was FANTASTIC, Mom!) – sent a bound copy of all Grandma’s poems to the family.

It’s got the place of resprect on my coffee table as we speak.

But this year – no Grandma.

I got the following in my mailbox tonight:

“Merry Christmas, 2007.

The day of wonder is almost here – the day we remember our loved-ones far and near…

The day when we celebrate our Savior’s birth, and give Thanks for all He’s given us on this Earth.”

Grandpa took up the tradition. My heart is broken, folks. There is nothing – and I mean that, nothing – better to undo your heart than Grandpa sending out Grandma’s poems. 

Following is eight stanzas of our family. Births, and deaths, and travels and heart-felt love.

My Grandfather, who my husband once referred to as “Jack Palance with soul”, took up my Grandma’s tradition, and sent out the POEM. I’m awestruck.

I’m not going to replicate it here, because it’s mine, and I have to just love my Grandpa some more before I hand him over.  But I’m so very, very proud of him. Maybe one day I’ll let the world see his poem. Today, though, I’m going to be proud, and weepy, and loving my Grandpa so very, very much.

So Chistmas has made me humble. My family has taught me, again, that there is so much more to life than I’ve ever seen.

My children are so proud of me that they high-five their friends in the hallway. That’s how much they love me.

My Grandfather is letting the world know that he loves us, loves Grandma, loves our family. I am so very proud.

Silly, yes. But heart-felt.

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2 responses to “Christmas Humbles Me

  1. Great. I check in to see how the family is doing for the holidays, and to catch up since we seem to miss each other constantly on the phone, and you make me cry with this beautiful tribute to family. At a time when I miss my own Papa so very very much, I know exactly what you mean. And I remember those beautiful family letters from your Grandma, and thinking of the crusty old man I have pictured in my head from family tales and photos carrying on the tradition was absolutely beautiful. Love to all!

  2. so where are you now?

    hope that you are doing very well!

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