I miss the kids, obviously. But here I am with my grand kids. We were sitting in the family room last night and I was crocheting and Kayla, my grand daughter came over and asked me what I was doing. Before I knew it she was sitting next to me and making a long chain stitch. I was so thrilled I could hardly breathe. I mean this is a dream I have never dared to have. She looked up at me and asked how long she had to make the chain. I showed her how to take the chain apart and then taught her about a single stitch and a double stitch and how to start making a square. She worked and worked. Her fingers were a little clumsy, after all, aren't we all a little clumsy when we are learning. Each time she finished the first two rows she would tear it all apart and start again. On her 5th try her stitches were as consistent and neat as anything I can do. She never complained or wanted to stop, she just kept trying and trying. Every time she figured something out, she would tell me in her sweet 9 year old way of thinking. "That looks like a flower" "That is like....." and so on. She amazed me. By the time she finished her last try it looked better then my stitches. She was so in this that Santa Claus was driving up and down the streets in the neighborhood and she didn't want to leave to go see him. The local fire district had Santa on the back of a fire truck and I wanted to go see him. He was giving all the children candy canes. But she told her dad, "No, I have already seen two 'Santa helpers' and I think that is enough. I am very comfortable sitting with grandma crocheting." Just writing that breaks my heart. What more could you ask for. Isn't that one of the sweetest part of Christmas?!! Being with the children. Seeing their kindness and goodness at this time of year. Kensington was so excited to see Santa, he is 5. He kept running in and grabbing Kayla's hand, "Santa is coming, Santa is coming" He exclaimed. His eyes bright with excitement. Kayla is 9 and I guess she is growing out of Santa. She isn't yet willing to give completely up, but........
Kensington ran out to see Santa and when it was his turn to get a candy cane he asked Santa if he could get one for his sister. Santa hesitated briefly, but you could see the honest love in his eyes and Santa handed over the second candy. He ran into the house with it, thrilled to tell his sister that he had gotten Santa to give him a candy for her. She was happy, he was over the moon and the adults? We all stood there awed by the sheer sweetness of the moment.
As I was looking through my emails and facebook and came across an old message about The Quaz. This was an interview I did early in 2012. Jeff Perlman is a writer and more known for his two books about sports. One is "Sweet" about Walter Payton the other is about the Dallas Cowboys. He does a weekly interview about someone in sports, politics are whatever interests him. How and why he found my blog and wanted to interview me is a mystery. I went back and found my interview. He is up to 133 interviews, I think I am like 34 or 38, I really can't remember numbers anymore. I went back and read it again. Wow! What a different person I was then. I was smart and deep. I was funny and kind. What happened to me? I guess I have burned my brain up with meds, chemo, crazy and pain meds. Trust me as I read that I was taken back. Where did all of that go? How could I have been so together back then?
I found the 15 comments people had posted on the blog. The tears streamed down my face as friend after friend said the loveliest things. I had never read them, and next to my grand daughter wanting to spend time learning how to crochet, that was the most amazing Christmas gift I have ever been given.
As I counted my blessings, the tears blurred my eyes, stinging as I thought about the person I have become. This new years resolution. I am not even sure what I need to do to try and bring that person back. To be a better person. A more caring person. A more responsible person who is better about getting birthday cards out on time. To call my friends more and be more dependable. Someone they can like again. I am humbled by that person. She was so brave, so willing to take this challenge on. Today, I lay in child's pose and wept with the pain in my body. I wondered how will I do this, if now, when the pain is first starting and I weep like a baby. How? How will I be a better person. I don't have decades to work on, only year(s). I know I will never be that person again, but I have to start being a better, braver, stronger person.
Last night the kids opened their presents from us, because two of the kids had to return to their mother for Christmas. It was loud and joyful. The tin toys were wound up and raced across the floor. The parachute men were thrown off the second floor. The dogs ate through their stockings to get to their milk bones. Within 15 minutes the entire room was filled with ribbons and presents and packaging. They loved their pillow cases and happily filled them back up with their prizes. It was as good as it gets.
My blessings overwhelm me. For my first Christmas after Daddy's death, it is turning into one of the most beautiful Christmas' I have ever had. The elf on the shelf is watching over the children, and they are serious about being good. Kensington walks around singing Christmas carols and tonight he was sweet even to me. He ate his dinner then got up took his shower without being asked and then went to bed. "Chippy" the elf will report to Santa who has been naughty and nice, and this little man has taken this to heart. He is seriously sweet and kind and everything you would want for a child to be at this time of year. I am so very proud of our little man. The lessons these children have taught me in the last 36 hours are well, I feel like I am in the Charlie Brown Christmas special. The one where they decorate the Charlie Brown sad little tree. Where Linus quotes from St. Luke. These children are as wonderful and precious as those children from Mr. Shultz's mind.
Thank you Charles Shultz for Peanuts.
And thank you Bug for giving me grand children
Thank you Shireen and Ken for sharing your home and children with this crazy old woman
Thank you my dear precious sweet friends for, well, everything you are and do
Thank you to my big brother for having Christmas at his house this year and inviting Marie, my Dad's girlfriend and her daughter to spend Christmas with them. I am so proud of my big brother for being so kind.
I am proud of my little brother for understanding and supporting our brother as he tries to make this first Christmas without Daddy to be special and to still be about family.
Tonight, there is peace and joy, love and hope in this heart.
There is pain in my body. Pain I was not prepare for, but I will survive it and learn how to deal with it. And maybe, just maybe that pain will help me to learn how to once again be that kind, generous person in the Quaz interview.