Wednesday, December 5, 2012

And life goes on...some holiday thoughts

In the past year we have lost numerous people that we love, including two of my dad's sisters, the last two of my mom's siblings, and many other friends and relatives.  I guess this is to be expected as we get older but it is still always so hard to let them go.

Today I was going to try to post something uplifting and cheerful - I should never have re-read my last post as now I am sniffling as all these tender feeling rush back in.  I sure miss my mom and my brother, and those others who have gone on, expecially at this time of year.  Mom was a great lover of holidays and always made Christmas special with lots of homemade goodies and gifts.  I treasure the crocheted doilies and other things she made for me through the years.  What special heirlooms they are now.

I thought I might give a little update on us.  Our oldest daughter is actually visiting this week from California.  We love having her here and wish she lived closer so we could visit back and forth more often.  Our tree is up.  All of the kids and grandkids except our son's family were here on the weekend for dinner and the grandkids decorated the tree for us.  It looks beautiful and it was fun to see which of that huge stash of ornaments we have collected through the years they chose to put on the tree.  A great deal of them are the handmade ones, not the fancy store bought items. Even the little children seem to be drawn to those things that have been made with loving hands.  I think it says something about how they are being raised that they are not just drawn to the commercial side of things.

Our daughter and her children who has been with us this past year seem to be doing better now that the divorce is final and they can get on with life.  It has helped that "he" is now living out of state and is not daily causing contention and drama, although "he" seems to have found a way to continue do that via telephone.  It has been a rough year for them, and for all of us as we tried to help in whatever way we can.  We love our grandchildren, and we grateful that we were able to have them safe here with us this year but I know that it is hard for everyone to have multiple generations in one house and they kids suffer from too many adults telling them what to do, so it is good that they now have their own home and can be a little family unit of their own once again.

We all went to their home for Thanksgiving dinner via a special invitation from the children. It was the first time they have ever been able to be the host for such an occasion and they were so excited.  Our little granddaughter age 7 was so thrilled to be having everyone to their house that she made individual Thank You cards for everyone thanking them for coming.  I thought that was so special.  She is such a sweetheart!  It was a lovely day and we enjoyed it immensely.

With the approaching Christmas season I know everyone is too busy, life is too hectic, and sometimes overwhelming.  We take on too much, think we have to do everything and wear ourselves too thin.  It is not good.

In the midst of all of this, I challenge you to stop, take a deep breath and think of all the blessings you enjoy.  I am grateful for just being alive.  I am grateful to have a family that I love and that love me.  I am grateful that the Savior came into the world to save us all.  I am grateful that our prayers are heard and that we have a Heavenly Father who wants only for us to be happy and to live so that we might be able to return to Him.  I am grateful that we have the process of repentance and forgiveness and the atonement of Christ for us so that we can move past our mistakes. I am grateful for the Christmas season that softens hearts and reminds us all that we can do better, we can love our neighbor, we can reach out to those around us in even small ways, we can lift one another in so many ways.  It costs us so little to do so.

Have you noticed that as a rule, most people are more friendly, more helpful, more caring even in the hustle and bustle of shopping and such.  I have and I love it.  I love the sounds of Christmas.  It is wonderful to see and hear people exchanging greetings of Merry Christmas.  I love the music that is all around us.  I love hearing the excited voices of little children as they delight in the beauty of the Christmas trees, and new fallen snow, and seeing Santa.  And I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it when my little grandchild says, "It is Jesus's birthday, you know, Gramma.  That is why we have Christmas."

Yes, Sweetheart is certainly is why we have Christmas.  I hope you never forget that.  And so I wish a very Merry Christmas to all of you, and I hope you have a blessed new year.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The one constant in life is Change!

It has been said that Change is the only thing you can count on in life.  There is so much truth in that.  It seems that as you get older, the changes come closer together.  It is hard losing the older generations in our family.  Soon we will be the older generation.  How did that happen?  All of my mother's ten siblings except one are gone now - and there are only my dad and three sisters left of their family of fourteen.  And several of our generation are gone now too.  Time is so fleeting and you cannot call it back.

This has been a hard year for my dad.  He lost his little sister Beanie (Berniece) right after Christmas, and my mom's sister Joyce who was like a little sis to him in May. They were all very close and lived just down the hall from each other in the same nursing home. Every evening you could find them playing a game of cards and talking of old times. All of our families have always been so close.  Now that both Beanie and Joyce are gone I know he is quite lonely.  But he takes it all in stride and finds ways to fill his life with fun and happy things.  He loves "the home" and all the wonderful people who work there. They are so good to him that he is quite spoiled by all of it...which he loves.  

Our oldest daughter has been able to come from California to visit both at Thanksgiving and at the beginning of this month. What fun weeks those were. She got to spend some quality time with all the family and for the first time ever was really able to connect with the little ones.  She is privileged to be the "favorite auntie" in our family and the kids all adore her.  I think everyone should have a favorite aunt.  I know I had one in my mom's youngest sister Joyce, who was like a second mother to me.  She passed away this May and I miss her sorely. 

She was in a terrible car accident in 1979 which left her paralyzed from the neck down.  She spend many weeks in the Craig hospital in Denver during her recovery and since we lived there at that time our children came to love her as if she were another grandmother.  She has been such a tremendous example of strength to our entire family.  Although she was never well after her accident she worked very hard to regain as much use of her body as possible.  She never complained and always had a smile and a kind word for everyone she met.  I never knew her to be cross or judgmental, but rather always loving and encouraging. When my mother passed away she was such a comfort to me and helped me so much through the grieving process.  I will miss her sweet smile and tender love so much.  Aunt Joyce I hope you know how special you were to this whole family and especially to me.  Such a reunion you must all be having on the other side.  Give my mama a hug from me. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A long time coming

This post has been a long time coming.  I can't believe it has been nearly a year since I last wrote here.  Too, too long, but life has a habit of getting in the way sometimes.  The past year has been a busy one with many changes.  In September our middle daughter took her little ones and fled from her abusive husband and went to a safe house.  After a few weeks there she and the children came to live with us.  It has been a bit of a trial learning to cope with preschoolers again at our age but we are getting used to the noise factor now and they have settled in pretty well.  Nothing is resolved for them yet...the divorce will not even go to court until late they are all still in a bit of a limbo, but we just take each day as it comes.  The one thing I have learned is that my mother was right when she said, "The good Lord knew what he was doing when he gave children to young mothers."  When you are old you don't have the energy, the stamina, or the quickness to chase after them all day no matter how much you love them, but most days they are a delight and we are grateful for every moment spent with them. They are beautiful children who do not deserve the trials that life has thrown them and we pray for their well-being continually.

I would like to write a tirade on abusive men but for now I will keep that to myself  as it would benefit no one.  Maybe when it is all over and resolved and not such a part of the now I will have a better perspective.  We'll see.  :-)