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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Behind the scene of Christmas eve

            My Grandparents loved their family, all four kids and all four families as time flew by with Christmas eve being their most important holiday. 
            My Grandparents were devoted Christians, almost blind in their passion to follow the bible or the words of their church pastor. 
            My Grandpa had a quiet faith to live by that made him a good man, he also rarely if ever left home for church on Sundays or for any other social activity that got his wife so motivated to go. I think personally he was a good soul, a very caring being who loved his farm and care about all the creatures on it.  Grandpa's need to stay on the farm as I grew up was a security blanket for me because I knew he was always there on the same farmland that my parents house was located. I grew up observing all the adults in my life and I never saw my Grandpa loose his temper, never saw him get all preachy and self-righteous. I never saw him doubt his faith or even admit to the fact God forsaken him when he laid dying. I was very impress by his kindness always, when I said "The bible is full of hypocrisy." I was just 22 years old laying my back against his bed in the living room as he ate a handful of cookies looking out his big picture window to valley below on his huge farmland. He frowned back replying "The world is also hypocrisy, don't let the bad people out there take away your goodness." 
I felt bad for blunting that out because I knew this whole Christian thing wasn't for me anymore I felt so frustrated. Yet my Grandpa did make that religion look good, he did his very best all the way to the end. For it was the strength in his life that helped him be a good man with his bible in hand.....I totally get that, and I completely respect him for it too. 
       My Grandma was more emotional about her faith and sometimes humbly admitting that she had doubts or struggles with it at times,  (this would open her up for attacks and judgement especially from my own mother I noticed) I liked knowing that I wasn't the only one confused by God's rules or bible stories. I was very close to my Grandma especially once old enough to carry on a conversation with her. I saw her all the time as we were "neighbors" on their orchard farms while trying to not upset my mother who was so easily jealous of us. Whenever Grandma took me out to lunch or shopping I would come home so happy to of been out in society seeing all kinds of new things and new people, having fun with Grandma was a huge saving grace for me as a restless young teenager. My mother would be waiting for me to get home wanting me to tell her everything and often my mom would asked if Grandma talked about her, to which I would always act like that was a odd question. The fear my mother had was how her own Mother would use me to get "dirt" on her. I often rolled my eyes at my mother in reply saying Grandma had no such intentions! But I also grew sharp on this issue quite young in life and trying to avoid taking sides of my mother and my Grandmother. 
The truth was as I saw it that my little Grandma was my friend, and my mother however was not. Of course I was careful to not trust either one completely, I loved them both even tried several times to help them become nicer to each other. Those experiences growing up made me the very alert young woman today, FOR I will NOT play games, I will not leave any room for misunderstanding nor will I waste my time with self-righteous judgmental women. My mother is the exception to this rule of course, because her stroke doesn't allow her to hide these personal traits anymore, I choose to work around them keeping forgiveness front and center in my heart at all time while with her. While also thinking if her parents were still alive they would want her to be cared for and loved nevertheless. I was reminded lately just how Grandma Norma did Christmas Eve to the most spectacular scene!  Christmas trees every where and mountains of gifts among soft Christmas decor and a huge counter of foods. Grandpa adding logs of wood to the fireplace with traditional holiday music playing through the intercom walls. I always knew as kid running about from Aunts and Uncles to laying on the carpet in order to look up the biggest decorate tree that I was very blessed. That I was always going to want to remember these celebrations, cherish them closely to my heart forever that the family looked so perfect sitting around each other. Since real life and relationships are not always perfect as each Christmas eve unfolded I knew something magical was happening here with all those hugs and smiling faces in sharing Christmas, I had a wonderful example of what it really means to be "family" in the end. For all of those gifts are forgotten but the time together never dies!

I pushed my Mother through the displays of Christmas in the mall last week while she stayed with me, I was instantly overcome by missing Grandma Norma. The wheel chair rolled in front of me as I happily thought all I could do for my mother in cheering her up, sadly this time she just wouldn't have it. She looked and acted weak, she seemed a bit sick too so this could of all contributed to her bad mood. I never gave up in my cheerfulness yet when Mom mentioned how her mother wasn't all that great, how I only ever saw the "good side" of Grandma I had chuckled back at her explaining "Shouldn't we always see the GOOD side to each other? Wouldn't you want to be remember for only the good things? Of course it's not humanly possible to be good all the time, But shouldn't we hope and strive for the best behavior towards each other always?" Mom grunted back  "Your Grandma was lucky to never have to take care of dying parents or have a stroke like me." I kept on the move knowing that these kind of conversations are important to help my mother look at all these memories and stories in a better way. I explained some  more "Yes, you did all of that, and had such sad times in your life that were very different from the life Grandma's not like she didn't hurt or struggle too. I can remember how hard she worked at trying to be your friend as the grown adults you ladies were when I was growing up." Mom snorted "Well, It was to late for her by then the damage was done. Her true nature had been revealed and YOU never saw her for what she really was." I took a deep breath looking down at my very old looking mother wondering why she sounded just like a 5 year old again, was it the aftermath of her stroke or is this the true maturity of her soul? I half hugged her when I stopped pushing her wheel chair as we looked on at the decorated Christmas tree before us. I replied very humbly back at her sitting against me "It's never to late to forgive, look at me wanting to still hang out with you. There is always hope for change and there is always hope to better your relationships along the way." I took a deep breath remembering how important all of these conversations are. Then I giggled as Mom waved me on to stroll down the rest of the mall in perfect peaceful silence....or until we saw another clearance rack.

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