There is so much going on at this time of year – in my head! Lists, lists, lists. Yep, I’m a list person. It helps to cross off all that silly stuff that, well, that just needs to be crossed off. There is Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years and all the parties and fuss and cooking in between. And don’t forget the presents! Oh my! Last year I counted who and how many gifts I give at Christmas: 35. THIRTY-FIVE! This year I’m not counting.
But this time of year is more than about cooking and shopping. The holiday season stirs up feelings and emotions of the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s stressful. Let’s just face it.
My particular emotion is one of remembrance. I remember my dad.
His birthday: November 23rd.
His deathday: December 25th.
He died on Christmas Day. He was only 71 years of age. It will be 22 years ago this Christmas.
The first year, well it was on that day so we plowed through what needed to be done – cross country.
The second year, my mother came to visit and we had a New Year’s Eve party. She helped clean and cook and entertain. It was a nice event – a filler to give us something else to focus on. Since then, life goes on.
Now that the kids have grown up and married and had kids of their own, I often wonder how my dad would view it all. What/who he would be critical of and what/who he would be proud of.
Thanksgiving, every once in a while, falls on his birthday. And again I remember.
I try to remember good things. He was a hard dad, a perfectionist. I failed to measure up. But we had nice memories too: many vacations, comfortable home, good friends.
My saving grace? What I hang onto when I’m sad and lonely and just plain miss him?
I know I’ll see him again. He’s in heaven and I’ll be headed that way too.
He was born again – and so am I.