The Two Dollar Christmas Gift

I was commenting on a dear friend’s post tonight and suddenly a few happy tears fell. Remembering Christmas‘s long ago when children squealed with delight. Hands clapping wildly and smiles from ear to ear.

We learned about baby Jesus in Sunday School but if I am honest, it was more exciting to wake up on Christmas morning. Mom and Dad were the best Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause all around. We didn’t get hoards of gifts but what we got is exactly what we told Santa we wanted.

Each Christmas was like that until the year I got married. When Christmas morning came there was no one to celebrate it with first thing in the morning. Although I had my husband, it was different.

I still could not wait to go to Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Eve. Every year it remained the same at my parents. Christmas Eve was an unspoken saved time where we knew we were going there for dinner, treats, and gifts.

Spending the time with my entire family back in those days was a true joy. What a gift it would be today if I could have a peek and relive just one of those wonderful years. Both of my parents are deceased. My half-sister has pretty much disowned me. So it is definitely not the same now, but I do celebrate with my children and grandchildren.

New traditions to try out and add to many years to come. New memories are added but deep, deep within my heart is that little void and those silent tears for what once was.

My Dad had a little thing he would do for us three kids every year. He would wait until all the gifts were opened and then he would rise from his chair look at me and smile and slowly walk a way going to  his bedroom.

When he returned he would have three brown paper lunch bag sacks. In each sack was a giant Hershey chocolate candy bar and a two liter bottle of coke. He would grin from ear to ear as he handed it to me.

My dad got a big kick out of Christmas. Of the entire year, this was the only time he truly enjoyed shopping. He didn’t care or he didn’t voice it what he got in return. I remember I used to buy him long john underwear a lot. Dad worked for the County Highway. He drove a truck and during the winter plowing, sometimes he would get stuck outside more than inside the truck.

But for me, I will be thinking this year about Christmas. It will only be Al and me sitting here, but my thoughts will be looking up to heaven and seeing Dad smiling down at me holding that brown paper lunch bag sack. He will be handing me my chocolate bar and coke. But this time I will not just say thank-you Daddy. I will jump up and wrap my arms around him so tight and squeeze him crying out how much I miss him and how much I still love him.

My Daddy, my hero of my world died six years ago Dec.1. I love you Daddy. I can’t wait to see you again. We will share that candy bar and that big coke. Hugs, your daughter, Terry.

This is my Daddy when I was caring for him while he was dying from Leukemia and Myaloma. I am the blonde next to him with my head tilted.

dad, bev, me and theda

The Gift That Almost Wasn’t

Every time little Billy went to town with his  Mommy he stopped in front of the toy store and watched the little train going round and round on the track. A big black engine with plenty of shiny silver on it. Four cars followed it in colors of red, green, blue and gold.

Mommy always tugged at his arm to follow him but he fought it, wanting to stay one more minute to watch. He heard the familiar words of how she wished she could tell Santa to bring it to him on Christmas morning but Santa had too many other children to visit and she wasn’t sure he would be stopping at their house this year.

Mommy had lost Daddy. He had worked in the mines. One day there was a terrible accident and Mommy told Billy that God needed Daddy so he wouldn’t be coming back home.

Life had been different since Daddy was gone. The three of them used to hold hands and pray before they ate their meals but ever since the one chair sat empty, Billy ate in front of the television and Mommy stayed in her private room.

If Billy stopped chewing he could hear his Mommy crying. She sure must miss him. Mommy sometimes went to other ladies houses and came home all dirty and tired. She would walk in the door and barely smile at Billy before she went to her room.

Soon he would hear the tub filling up with water. Mommy would come out later and give him a hug and then go to the kitchen and find him something to eat for supper. They used to have grand meals.

Just sitting here thinking about it made his mouth water. Nice big pieces of meat with lots of fluffy white mashed potatoes. Now a lot of the times she brought him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When things were good he got milk to drink. Most of the time though it was water.

One time a knock came at the door. It was the neighbor. A kind looking lady who asked Mommy if she could take him to church with her this coming Sunday. Mommy said yes and from that day on Billy went to church.

Billy began to open up to his new Sunday family. He made new friends in his Sunday School class. The day before Christmas his Sunday School teacher gave him a white sack. When he opened it there was an orange and lots of chocolate pieces of candy.

That night as we was watching TV Mommy walked out and sat beside him on the couch. She put her arms around him and she started crying. He stopped eating and listened to her as she explained why she wished with all her heart that she could have gifts under the tree for him, but she just couldn’t do it.

He rubbed his Mommy’s hand and told her it was alright, that he didn’t mind. She stood up and went back to her room. He finished eating and watched TV until time to go to bed. After he went to bed she came out to the kitchen and made herself some coffee.

There was a knock at the door. When she opened it her neighbor and their friends from church were standing there with wrapped gifts. Mommy started to cry as she let them in and they quietly placed the gifts under the tree.

As the last person placed his gift Mommy went to him and gave him the biggest hug she could muster. They each hugged and said good-bye. Mommy got her coffee and went to bed smiling.

The next morning Billy got up and went out to the living room to turn the TV on. His eyes became big as saucers as he noticed the shiny packages under the tree. But the biggest surprise ever was the little train going round and round with the big black engine with the four cars following it.


Third Night’s a Charm

I know what people mean when the describe the good and the bad days, when there is a terminal illness. I have seen them both. It used to be good days most of the time. Now it is good days part of the time mixed up with a couple bad drinks swallowed leaving a sour taste in my mouth.

When Al came home from the Hospice house it was let’s throw a party time. Decorate the bedroom with coca cola streamers. Put the party hats on. Get the blow horns out. By Sunday the new medication that he was put on disappeared. It was like a magic show that stopped short in the middle of the act.magic showparty hats Put the party hats a way, tear down the streamers, because the party has just moved on.

Put on the sad face.sad-face Place the night-cap on because it is going to be a long night.night cap

This is exactly what happened Sunday and Monday evenings.

I didn’t go outside and enjoy the stars.flashing star I didn’t sit around the campfire shooting the shit.july 4th firepit

I stayed inside and listened to screams of wanting to die. I heard moans of pains.

The tremors and sweating were back in full force. Monday they were not quite as bad, but because of Al not having a Sphincter muscle sphincter muscleand the amount of pain pills he takespain pills he became constipated yesterday.constipation-3

After trying all the prescriptions I had on hand for him, plus the prune juice, apple juice and M.O.M. I was forced to once again call the nurse.telephoneNURSE JACKIE

It took a while but with the help of her and what she brought, Al found some relief.

Two nights in a row, we didn’t get to bed until 1a.m. Two nights in a row the Hospice nurse has been here.

Two nights in a row Al and I fell into bed exhausted.

I tried to get him to stay home today from day program, but he would not consider it. He was more like a rag doll this morning. Slow, mushy and no expressions.rag doll

I am hoping that he is laying back in his new wheelchair snoozing and I can tell you that I am hitting the couch as soon as I say goodbye to all of you.

I still have faith though. I have faith that this illness, M.S.A. needs a break and that tonight, it will be better.

Good night friends, I am off for a nap.

Daily Prompt; Procrastination, DP, Daily Prompt

What have you been putting off doing? Why?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TIME.

Oh this is an easy one for my eyes to rest on. The problem is action. Actions speak louder than words. Have you ever heard of that? I used to say it often when my kids were younger. You can still catch me using that phrase today.

A lot of you know me pretty well by now. So you realize on this Sunday  morning when Al is napping I want to desperately  get off this chair, push it close to the desk so the space to squeeze in, even a mouse would stand back and rub his whiskers wondering if he could do it.mouseonfrog

I want to clean. I am procrastinating against cleaning. You ask what? Oh my gosh! She doesn’t want to clean?shocked_woman

I made a deal with myself this morning. I was going to actually sit down with Al while he ate. I was going to watch the Dr. Charles Stanley show with him. I did these two things. I didn’t even clean the cat box right a way. What’s one more turd to the pile? Really, it can wait, and I am not even wearing that clothes pin over my nose yet.

I did clean his bathroom, but how could I not. I cleaned his body from over night accidents.maid

Hey, I am still in my night-gown, does that tell you anything?846-02796238

I will get around to it today, just not yet. I am not going to be in a hurry. I realize it will be waiting for me any old-time.

I told myself, relax, just do it, it’s Sunday!

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

I have written about Al so much lately. I have told you about the terrible Friday through Sunday evening weekend Al had of suffering from his M.S.A.

What I didn’t tell you is that I had a little bit of a melt down Saturday night, alone in my bedroom. I had climbed the ladder and got to the step that said,”We Won”. When Al got so sick those few days, I came crashing down to the bottom step which said,”Get Real”

I had seen with my own eyes how wonderful Al had been the past several days. I quickly let myself believe that our prayers had been answered. So many prayers from a lot of you. God answers prayers and he answered mine.

But then he got worse. I have since learned from Hospice that this will be a common thing. The Hospice nurse told me today that he will have more good days then bad in the beginning and later more bad than good.

So when she and I talked today and I learned that he had an excellent day, I turned around to see if anyone was watching or listening. When I saw Al carrying on a conversation, drinking his pop, and smiling, I swear my heart burst straight out of my chest cavity.

Then I suddenly stopped and remembered back to last weekend when I had my melt down. I thanked God for today being a great day for Al, but I am staying on the step that says get real. The step above it says” Be Happy”. The next step says,” Live for today, enjoy what is in it. Don’t look ahead, just yet.”

So for today I am so happy for Al. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that it last for a few more days.butterflies