First and foremost, during this Christmas season I want to give God the glory that he so richly deserves. I know that I am not worthy, yet he continues to pour out his blessings on me. I cannot put into words how God takes the time to listen to me, talk to me, and walk with me every step of every day, but he does. An even better question is why? I thank him tonight for granting me time to write my thoughts, my memories, and my wishes so that my family will be able to look back at these posts and be comforted in the knowledge that I love them unconditionally. I may be going to meet Jesus sooner than many, but please know that I am sharing pieces of my childhood, my school years, my Navy years, and then my dating years with their mom and finally our marriage that consisted with all three of kids. Thank you God for them, every one of them.
This post is coming about two weeks late as it has been a very busy time of year with the girls home for Christmas and all of the normal hoopla that goes along with it. I have been keeping myself busy with wrapping, baking, and decorating so I have been neglecting my blog, and I apologize.
As I sit in front of my Christmas tree tonight I am comforted by the Angel on the top of the tree. The angel was given to Cindy and I from a very dear friend and her family. She has passed away now, but we used to go see her once a week for the last couple of years of her life. She was very sick for so long, but I could always get her to laugh. We had a mutual love for the christian music group “The Gaithers”. I’m pretty sure I was the only person in his thirty’s that liked them and their music! She was an absolute sweetheart and I miss her, but I know that she is in heaven right now preparing a place for me. Oh, I bet she is watching the Gaithers too! So every single year when I put the angel on the top of the tree I smile and look towards heaven and tell her I miss her. My wife got tickets to see the Gaithers when they were in Maine a few years ago but I was sick and not able to go. She asked her mother to go and they had a great time, despite the fact that she was the only person in the audience that was in her forties! She said that she was quite certain that the rest were in their eighties and nineties! (I think she may have been fibbing a little bit.)
I joined an on-line group for just dementia patients and it has so informative. I’m “talking” with people from all over the world and that alone blows my mind. It’s nice to realize that this isn’t happening to just me. It is happening to people just like me, and people who are totally opposite from me. It is affecting men and women, and most surprisingly it is happening to people that are even younger than me. The doctors think that this started a couple of years ago, it just went undetected and undiagnosed. I certainly can see it now and all the mistakes, the forgetfulness, and the confusion makes so much sense now. I never in my wildest dreams, not even for a second, gave it a thought that I had dementia. So this means I probably started with the initial symptoms when I was 45 or 46 years old. I always truly believed that this was an “old persons” disease? Today though, I am realizing that it is much more prevalent than I could have ever imagined. At least it’s not my wife. It’s neat hearing their highlights of their traditions and how they became traditions in the firsts place. I find it cool to be able to talk to someone in England as if they are sitting right next to me. I have come to realize that many of us are so much alike in what our families do together, what our interests are as well as what we like to eat and drink. Pepsi is really big in England! Who knew?
The fire in the fireplace is crackling and the smell of the christmas tree is so strong, a scent that I could never get enough of. The smell of my spice cake baking along with the christmas music playing all together with the girls laughing in the back ground is heart warming. It is at times like this that I am most proud. It is times like this that I really understand all that I do have around me. There are people out there that are struggling much more than I or my family. There are people right here in my own town that are hurting. I wish I was in a position to help them, but I’m not. Every single person out there has their own story, and as I have said before, I would love to hear every one of them. I know that I am not an isolated story, and that there are hundreds if not thousands or even 10’s of thousands that are in more desperate situations than I am. I look under my tree this year at the few presents that we have and know that there are some trees with nothing under them. I would gladly give up my gift for someone that is hurting. Maybe it is a young man that was let go from his place of employment for whatever reason, a single mom that can’t even afford diapers, let alone a christmas tree or gifts, or someone that is on the brink of foreclosure because their part time job isn’t cutting it. Regardless of the circumstances, my heart breaks for them. This is the christmas season, the time of year when everything is good in this world and for a few brief moments it really seems to be, but the fact is, I know better and so do you. I am reminded tonight that it is not about the presents, the food, the fireplace, or even the amount of friends that you have. To me it is about acknowledging that there are people out there that are worse off then me. It is about doing something good for someone. Buy the customer standing in line behind you a coffee without letting them know. At the toll booth pay for the next one or two of five cars just because. One nice gesture can be contagious, and I know from personal experience that the feeling is overwhelming. I have been the giver and I have been the receiver. I am a humble and proud man that has always been able to take care of my family as well as help others, until now. Now I am the one that accepts gifts, charity, food and numerous other things because I am that guy that needs a hand. I pray that the day comes that I will be in a position to pay it forward but realistically know that I wont. But hopefully my kids will.
Make this new year a good one. Plan on doing something good for someone. I promise you that you will get more gratification out of it than the receiver will. My parents use to tell me that giving is so much more special than getting. I never really understood that until now. The neat thing about it, is that it is true. The look on somebody’s face when they receive something that is so very unexpected is the best feeling in the world. It doesn’t even have to cost anything. Write a poem, create your very own painting, or cook a meal for someone. Believe me, it really is priceless!