Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Got Through Christmas...

A virus hit a couple family members over the Christmas holidays, but we not only survived the inconvenience, we had a very nice week! Both sons are home for most of the Christmas break and my husband had a couple days off, so we just relaxed and simplified. Each person got a couple of gifts, we watched Christmas programs, football, and movies.

Yesterday was spent filling boxes for a donation to the Idaho Youth Ranch. I went to drop them off earlier today, and then treated myself to a Pumpkin Spice Latte! So good! I'm now working on a donation box for the Boise Rescue Mission. I have a box of brand new socks and one box of gently used ones. This time of year, they need all kinds of cold weather gear. It feels good to be able to share with others just like it was done for me, when I was a small child being raised by a single mother. Just trying to pay if forward!

I hope your holidays were filled with blessings and joy! May your New Year be happy, bright, and filled with hope!

© 28Dec2015 ajj

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas, Relationships, Goodbyes...

There are so many things which go into making Christmas special, in the traditional sense. Baking, shopping for gifts, mailing cards, decorating indoors and out. We've done very little of these this season. We also broke tradition and already started making sandwiches with our special "Christmas" ham, spicy honey mustard, and aged cheddar cheese. I haven't decided what our Christmas dinner will now consist of. We've pretty much decided nobody really enjoys a big turkey. Maybe just a turkey breast with baked sweet potatoes or a roast?

My main goal is to keep it simple. I tried for so many years to create the perfect Christmas. It never ended up being perfect, after all, I don't live in a Norman Rockwell painting, but it was always fun and filled with love. I'm embracing the solitude of the holidays. Our family unit has become very small, and I've lost touch with many extended family members and some old friends. I've been thinking a lot about relationships and the value of reciprocation.

Part of this was due to a realization which hit me pretty hard a couple weeks ago. As much as I loved my dad, if I had been the one to pass on during my first 30 years of life, he might have shed a tear for my passing but it would not have been for me. It would have been for the idea of me, because he never really took the time to get to know me. I saw him at Christmas and at the occasional family gathering, but he was usually talking with his siblings, and we never shared more than a word or two. I still loved him, who couldn't love a guy with a laugh like that? I loved hearing him sing and the way his eyes twinkled when something tickled his sense of humor. If he had passed on during my first 30 years, I would have wept, not for him, but for the idea of him and who I longed for him to be. A father, a daddy, a friend.

Fortunately for us, we became reunited in the later years of his life. We did become father and daughter. We became friends. We had a relationship, and when he did pass, I wept for who he was to me, for a beautiful human being I still miss to this day.

The lesson is to remember love takes effort, it takes connection. It's a two way street, not a one way road. If you close the door, if you don't make the "journey" towards a relationship, you will never know who you were missing. When that inevitable day comes when they leave this life for good, will your tears be from the loss of not knowing them or from the sadness of saying goodbye to a heart you knew so dearly and so well? Either way is a loss, but one is definitely better than the other, in my opinion. It's also about finding peace in whatever the circumstances may be.

© 14Dec2015 ajj

Friday, December 11, 2015

I'm Not Ready...

Christmas is almost here, and I'm just not ready yet! I'm hoping to get a tree up by the middle of the week, but I still have shopping, baking, and other decorating left to do! I didn't do cards this year. Time simply got away from me. Speaking of time, this post must end here. I've got so much to do this evening, but I will be back to post again before Christmas arrives! Wishing you joy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Peace on Earth...

This is one of my favorite versions of this old Christmas classic. The link will take you to the YouTube video.

It was another heartbreaking day, but I still dream of Peace. I still Believe...