Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Cheer

I spent the afternoon digging out my holiday decorations. I already put a string of holiday lights on my blog. A little Christmas cheer here at home would be a good thing too.

I hung a wreath on the window in the back door (the only door anyone uses here) and put a big red ribbon on the walk gate going into the yard. When I was unpacking the boxes of decorations, I found two that were from my son's early school years. One was a little reindeer made from three old fashioned wooden clothespins and the other was a little wooden rocking horse that his 3rd grade teacher gave to him. I found his Christmas stocking too. It's one I made for him when he was four years old out of quilted calico print material. He added his own touch when he blew holes in the toe of it with a little cap pistol I gave him that Christmas. The cap pistol was the kind that uses the little plastic rings of caps. I had it loaded and at the bottom of the stocking. We had a big corner fireplace in those days with a tall brick hearth around it. On Christmas morning, he climbed up on the hearth to retrieve his stocking and, as most four years old would, he was very enthusiastic when he jumped down off the hearth. The impact when he landed set off the cap pistol and the look on his face was priceless. With eyes wide, he held the stocking at arms length ... you could see just the faintest wisp of smoke escaping from the toe of the stocking. It made quite an impression on him. I got to hear him tell that story to his six year old stepson a few of years ago and he said it was one of his favorite memories of Christmas when he was a kid.

This is going to be a very different Christmas. My son has been gone for eight months and I'm still finding it hard to imagine life without him. His wife and our grandsons live all the way out in Arizona. She won't answer or return our calls and we never hear from her when we send packages to the grandsons. The boys are only 11 and 4 years old. We hope when they get old enough, they will come find us but that's all we can do. With my son gone, his wife doesn't seem to want anything to do with us. My daughter and her husband live about 150 miles away but they are as strapped for cash as we are, so it might as well be 1000 miles. Thank goodness for free nights and weekend minutes on the cell phone and email, so we can at least stay in touch.

Christmas will be like Thanksgiving, just me and Yeoldfurt, but that's enough. I'll put up the tree but there won't be any gifts under it this year. I am grateful to still be here, still hanging on ...that is gift enough.



Blogger Kim said...

We were thinking about him today. Gerry just saw a commercial and looked up and said how hard it was to believe Mike was gone. We miss him too and you!!! love you!

December 5, 2009 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

He loved this time of year. He loved you guys. I can't tell how many times his sentences started with 'Gerry says ...' He always looked up to Gerry. Cherish your time with each other and with the kids. We never know what tomorrow holds.

December 5, 2009 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Felinae said...

This is me hugging you
I am sorry for your loss.


December 5, 2009 at 11:34 PM  
Blogger Humble wife said...

HB- the most beautiful Christmas memory for my heart is this sweet story you shared about your son and his stocking. Oh my heart grieves with you in this season, but you without realizing it, have given me your baby to carry in my walk. How amazing that I now have a happy fun memory of him when you still had him at home. I am thinking that you may not have contact with your grandsons right now, but you have them as they most certainly are like their dad(your son). This memory is one that connects the generations. Perhaps you can write this up and make a pen and ink drawing pictures to narrate the stocking mishap- and send it their way. Kids love hearing any thing and everything about a parent that is gone...a toy or box may be ignored-as we live in such commercial times...but this memory will be cherished(I promise).

Maybe you can make a little book about their daddy- with happy memories such as this one- and send three copies-one for the daughter-in law too.

I must say that I have been blessed knowing you for such a short period of time that I have known you- that your son really was fortunate. You are an incredible woman- thank you.

Oh and by the way- your sweet daughter would love the same style memory book--- as we parents have a way to remind our children of the precious memories that they have given us(for the kid it is hum drum then therefore often forgotten).

You and YOF take care and remember that you have someone in NM who totally loves you.


December 6, 2009 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HB So sorry for your loss and your sadness. I wish I could do or say something to make You and YOF feel better. Grief is a very personal and private thing. Just know that I will pray for you and if I can ever help just call or email me. FK

December 6, 2009 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

My friends...

Fel, thank you for the hug. Hugs are one size fits all, aren't they? Helps more than you know.

Humblewife, what a lovely thought to make the memory books. I don't know if I could do it right now, but I will at least start listing the memories I want to include for the boys. Maybe I will send them a 'chapter' each year ...another story about their dad. You and yours are loved from here too!

FK, I didn't know who you were until I saw the initials. Thanks for stopping by. Prayers are always welcome, always appreciated and I know this will get better with time. I don't think you ever get over losing someone, especially one of your children, but I do believe you can learn to handle it better. The first year ...the first everything is bound to be the worst.

I have never laid eyes on any of you, but I know without a doubt that you are my friends as true as if you were standing right here.

December 6, 2009 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger SciFiChick said...

I have something in my eyes...God Bless!

December 6, 2009 at 10:53 PM  

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