Unbroken Circle


I have been baking for the past three days. I took many breaks because of my bad back. I

Christmas gifts.

Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

made lots of goodies. I even managed to sweep the main part of the house, dust and sweep.

I have listened to the Christmas country station in the background the past four days. I never did tire of it. It was like I wanted to squeeze my heart around the words, because I know the day after tomorrow it will be gone for yet another year.

Joy to the world. We live in a world that we can live in joy if we choose to. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to have that freedom? Silent night, this is what it is tonight, as I slow down my activities and let the rest wait until tomorrow.

For as long as I can remember, my family and I  have always gone to my parents home on Christmas Eve. Tonight, I sit here alone. Don’t worry, tomorrow will be full of hustle and bustle, but tonight I am pondering over my past life.

We would drive slowly  out to mom and dad’s house. It would always be cold and icy. It never feared as they lived way out in the country and the roads were nasty in the winter. We would rush in the front door. Never needed to knock or be let in. It was home.

Mom would be in her pretty red lacy apron. She would be stressed out by the look on her face, but always managed to say hi with a big smile. Dad would be sitting in the living room in his recliner watching some wood shop program. My brother Al would be in his bedroom, sitting quietly with the television on but turned down low. Al was always on guard for arguments or his dad raising his voice. This made Al very nervous, so he was always quiet as a mouse.

I don’t remember back to when my half-sister still lived at home but I do remember many times when she would enter late. Supper on hold, mom in tears, dad yelling at sister for upsetting mom. This would start the movie scenes that were not always pretty. Sister and dad always argued. Dad wanted J. to grow up and do things for herself and mom babied her. Today, you can tell that mom got her way. J. can’t be independent, or doesn’t want to.

Anyways, there was mom and dad, plus Al. When we arrived ,  we brought our three cutie pies. J. brought her three kids also. So it was a nice size for the dinner table. Mom would make date cookies every year. She also made fudge, iced sugar cookies. She always made a chocolate pie whether it was Christmas or a birthday. This was my dad‘s favorite.

She would have the same menu year after year. She made home-made lasagna with garlic bread. We came to love and depend on it. After dinner was eaten and cleared, all the kiddies would run to the living room where the lit tree was sparkling. They would get just as close to the presents without getting told to scoot back. Dad would yell out to Mom and me,”Are you done with those dishes yet”? It makes me smile just thinking back on those days.

We would make our way to the living room and mom always played Santa Clause. The kiddies always got mainly clothes, and a toy or two. I don’t remember what Al and J got, but my then hubby and I would get a gift together and some smaller individual ones. The last gift I remember was a gas grill. After all the wrapping papers were tossed all over the floor, dad would go to his room and come out with this huge smile. In a brown lunch bag would be a giant chocolate Hershey bar and a two liter of diet coke. He would go purchase  each of us three kids this each year. He just loved doing this for us. Actually, this was the best present ever each year. To see dad smile handing his treasures to us.

One funny thing I have to tell you is Mom forgot stuff. She bought gifts all through the year, and she would hide them in the closet and then find one of  them after Christmas was over. The next year she would drag it out, and yet leave another gift hidden in the closet from this years shopping. We could always count on it.

The year mom passed away, there was no Christmas not even with  dad.  Christmas spirits and joy just died in the house, he missed mom so much. He just wasn’t interested. He would come to my house and give me a card with money in it. I would see tears in his eyes and then he would disappear in to the darkness returning to his home. As I was saying the year mom died, dad not only brought me a card he brought me an unopened box of pots and pans. He said mom had bought it earlier and it was to be a Christmas gift. I still have them after 12 years have passed. I can not let them go. They are used and a few scratches, but they are worth more to me than any dollar.

Now tonight I glance at my own grown children. Spending time not at my parents home, but in their own homes with their children. They are building memories so they can go back in time some day when I am up in heaven with mom and dad. Life is an unbroken circle. You live, love and laugh and build memories. Hopefully you lived a good enough life that you can do what I am doing now. Spending Christmas Eve alone, not with my parents, but in my mind and heart they are very close.

Merry Christmas mom and dad. I love you and can’t wait to see you again. As for Al? I can’t wait until tomorrow. He is coming HOME to spend Christmas with me. I get a whole day with him! Tomorrow will be my mother in me. Hustling and bustling without the apron. I will have a dish towel on my shoulder instead. I will be stressed somewhat, because I am not used to these family gatherings.   I have to admit, the noise will get to me. New memories will be built tomorrow and at the end of the day after everyone is gone, and Al is back in his new home, I will lay on my bed and smile up at mom and dad, and ask, “Did I do a good job? Did I do it just like you mom? I love you both”.

38 thoughts on “Unbroken Circle

  1. You have very vivid and lovely memories Terry…savour them. While I remember ‘bits and pieces’ there are not too many memories that I can recall…although the few that I do..were good ones…Have a wonderful day tomorrow and tell Al that I wished him a Merry Christmas…He won’t of course know me…but just as someone who cares….Diane

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  2. Terry, I hope you had a magical day .. and that you know have some time for yourself .. and not only washing up to do. I think we, women, are all like our mothers in same degree – neither we know it or it not. We have always something to live up to and if we don’t it nobody wouldn’t even notice. Christmas is in our hearts after all.

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  3. Wow. I’m honored to read your recollections, Terry. Thanks so much for sharing them with us. I hope you and Al have a beautiful Christmas. 😀

    – Tara

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  4. That was lovely Terry – yes life’s circle is imminent and my parents are now elderly and I worry so..
    but we have memories – thankfully that we can recall for the rest of your lives as you are now doing. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and thank you for this post.

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  5. Memories are always very precious to me too. My mom passed away 6 years ago, but every year I feel she still is with us. I’m sure your mom is with you too and I’m sure she would say, you do a fine job. I hope you had a wonderful Christmasday with Al, Terry 🙂

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