Christmas season is upon us. We are caught up in the hustle and bustle of traveling, eating, shopping, visiting, decorating, and everything else that goes along with your traditions. There are many who love this time of year and there are some who dread it. I do love winter in general and Christmas is a big part of that. I have always loved being able to get the house decked out for the kids to feel the magic. As the girls have grown up and moved out, it doesn't hold the same place as it did. Should I be doing this for my kids and grandkids? I got to thinking about this a lot in the past month or so. Maybe I should be doing it for me, to remind me of the great memories I have of my childhood holidays.
So why is that so important? Well, our family was hit in Oct with a major snowball. cancer. Talk about taking the wind out of your sails. We were reveling in the birth of our granddaughter, helping our eldest recuperate from pneumonia and thinking how strange that my dad was also dealing with pneumonia in another state. Dad was not getting better, went in for a follow up appointment and was transferred to a larger hospital and more tests revealed cancer in his lung. WHAT!!!?? We were just making plans for Thanksgiving, birthdays, anniversaries, and all the everyday stuff that happens. I spent a week at the hospital with my parents, drove home in disbelief that we would be embarking on a new trail, one we did not choose. So my plans for the holidays seemed to take a back seat.
Chemo started in November. The day before my sister's birthday. It will end the day after my birthday in March. Radiation will start Christmas week. Talk about messing up special days. Then I started thinking about that. Special days? What does that mean? And then I decided to make everyday a special day. During one of dad's treatment weeks, I had them bring a scrapbook of family photos with them. I had redone this book several years ago but left the writing of the stories for my parents to do. Well guess what, they still are not written in. We wait for the right time. When its too cold outside; we have nothing else going on; when the family can be together. Yeah, in other words, they probably won't get done. So one afternoon I sat with Dad and had him tell me the stories (again) but this time I recorded them. He has told me many times but I always would forget some of the details. Now I was afraid I would lose all the details if something happened to my dad. I could not bear to think about that.
It was amazing listening to him share stories and memories. He may not be able to tell me what he had for lunch, but he remembers peoples names, types of cars, trips and places he has been. It made me smile and then I got to remembering the times when I was growing up. Some of the memories are just through the photos we looked at, but then little tidbits of history start popping up. Family Sundays, picking blueberries, camping, fishing, riding on the tug, and so many more memories.
So decorating for Christmas may start this weekend, but it will be for me. Reminding me of the Christmas' my parents did for my sister and I. The love of a family. The stories that will be made. And then I have to remember to take pictures and write those stories down so my girls are not calling me names later in life.......
So don't wait to share a story, a photo, a memory. Do it today. Make it a part of EVERY day, not just something you do on the holidays and special occasions, because you will soon realize the special days are the days you are with people you love. EVERY DAY IS SPECIAL.
If you need help with your family photos, contact me for a quote on getting them saved for future generations and sharing.