rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “Parents”

Christmas, 1948

Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

For eighty years, I have been celebrating Christmas. At my age, don’t expect me to remember all of them, but one I especially remember is Christmas, 1948. I was nine years old and we were living in tough times, not that I knew anything about that. It was said that Santa Claus was not likely to visit our house that year. Because of the divorce of my adoptive parents and the illness of my grandfather, my mother and I lived with my grandparents.

My grandfather, Papa, was suffering with cancer and many believed would not live until Christmas. My mother told me he had a disease that was infectious. That was to keep me from bothering him. I wasn’t allowed to go in his room; but I did stand at the door and talk to him. I remember Papa smiling at me between his coughing and wheezing. I always thought he would get well. Once, during that Christmas time, I sneaked into his bedroom, even though it was off-limits to me, and I told him Merry Christmas. He motioned for me to lean over closely, so I could hear him better. He told me that better times were coming, both for him and for me. I wasn’t sure what he meant, after all, I was only nine.

Now, in hindsight, I know that Christmas 1948 was a memorable one for me. I’m sure you have an unforgettable Christmas in your memory.  Christmases are supposed to be a joyous time, a time for family to come together and share the joys, to celebrate the birth of Christ, and to remember the good things. Sometimes it doesn’t quite turn out that way, but then again…

You See… I Remember…

My folks didn’t want to celebrate Christmas… in nineteen forty-eight.
We had no money…, and my  Papa, was so sick… he didn’t even know the date.
My Granny Mama wasn’t feeling well…, seems like Christmas might have to wait.
And if old Santa even came at all…, he’d probably show up late.

No…, Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

No one much wanted … to decorate that year
Wasn’t going be like Christmas… wasn’t much Christmas cheer.
Then my Mama set about… to proudly trim a little tree
Thankful for the neighbor who cut and gave it to us free.

Mama wrapped her little tree… with gold and silver rope.
placed her special angel on the top!… she said, “to give us hope”,
like the angel from the Bible announcing Jesus’ birth
telling all the shepherds of Good News that’s come to earth.

I remember helping Mama… decorate our little Christmas tree.
And I remember especially…, all those joys it brought to me.
It had loads of shiny lights… that glimmered all around.
And Papa’s homemade ornaments… that almost touched the ground.

Our decorated Christmas tree… stood in its usual place.
Over by the window…‘cause we didn’t have much space
We had no chimney in our home… that Santa could come down
So I hung my cotton stocking by the door… just in case he came around.

But Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before

I remember Mama… made her breakfast Mac and cheese
It was her specialty… we all were very pleased
I remember Papa peeking out his bedroom door
And saying maybe… Maybe Christmas might be like before

But, No, this Christmas wasn’t meant to be… like all our Christmases before

I remember Mickey Mouse… and the watch I got that year
And my cotton stocking… packed with Christmas cheer,
crammed with apples and oranges and walnuts and stuff
And good hard ribbon candy, plenty sticky… sure enough.

It must have been old Santa… who left those gifts for me,
‘cause no one had no money… and stuff like that’s not free.
But sometimes… like at Christmas… miracles do take place
And seems like miracles always put a smile on a little boy’s face.

But Christmas ‘forty-eight wasn’t like all our Christmases before.

So many years have passed since that Christmas ‘forty eight
But Miracles still happen…and that’s cause to celebrate
I remember Mama… telling… the wonder of Jesus’ birth
And Papa listening closely, his last few days on earth.

Ahhh.. Christmas ‘Forty-Eight…it came and went so quick
And Papa kept us laughing just like he wasn’t sick
Then February nineteen forty-nine, his cancer staked its claim
Christmases… ever after… would never be the same.

No…, Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

Just a side note, one Christmas when our family celebrated together, I bought some cotton stockings like my Granny Mama used to wear, and I fixed each grandchild a stocking with the same fruits and nuts and stuff I got when I was a child. They thought it was funny… I smiled at the memory.
You see… I Remember… Christmas ‘forty-eight…

christmas-card-sayings-remember-when

I’m pretty sure I know what my Papa meant when he said better times are coming.

Thank you for allowing me to share some of my thoughts with you.
From me and all my family,
I hope you have a very miraculously, and memorable Christmas.

CHILDREN AND CHRISTMAS

Many years ago, too many to count, I became the father of three wonderful children. Not all at once, you understand, but one by one. The first one, a little red-headed daughter, we named Cheryl. I was a young sailor, far away in Guam when she was born. It would be several months before I met her in person for the first time. She was a delight in the life of her very young parents. Grandparents were so excited.

Two years and four months later, another little girl came into our lives. We named this little bundle, Kimberly. Kim, as she became known, was a delight in the life of her older but still young parents. Experienced in parenthood, or so we thought, we doted on this new baby in our family. Grandparents were excited at the arrival of their second granddaughter.

Thirteen months later, a little boy was born into this growing family. We named Him Charles. Charlie, as he is known only by family, was, as his older siblings were, a delight in our young family. Now we were really parents with a great deal of knowledge of parenting skills. NOT, but, proud of our family unit. Of course, his older sisters were very proud as well. And his grandparents were thrilled at a boy coming into our lives.

That was then, this is now. My children are now grown with children of their own, the girls with grandchildren as well. It is only a matter of time until my son becomes a grandfather, too. As for this great-grandfather, that makes me so very proud.  I am so proud of my children, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren.

I wish I would have written a book about all these years as they came and went, back when my memory was much more lucid. I could talk about vacations we took back and forth to different states, about bus rides for hours on end, and back to their childhood when clothes flew out a window. We could talk about those teenage years, of wrecked cars, yes, each child experienced that predicament. We could talk about band and baseball, good grades and not so good grades. We could talk about what they THOUGHT they got away with. Probably not those deeds they actually did get away with. We could talk about the cats and the dogs and Christmases past.

God willing, this will be my seventy-eight Christmas on this earth. I write this to say how much I treasure my family, how much I love each and every one of them.  The distance between our families is only in the miles and not in the love we have for each other. We spent many Christmases together and some were even in hard times.  As adults, we do not always get the opportunity to spend every Christmas together in person, but we always have each other in our hearts. The family has grown by leaps and bounds and I feel very gratified by their love. And now my children entertain their children and grandchildren in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.They make their own traditions and customs. That is how it should be.

Wanting this to be a very public announcement of how much I love my family, I post this enthusiastically and say;

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY CHILDREN. I LOVE YOU

AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY READERS

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