Another weekend is behind us and those of us who celebrate Christmas are more likely than not scuttling around trying to get things ready in time for the day. I have memories of those days when the children were small and the family was large and I sometimes find myself looking back and wishing that I had slowed down a bit and taken the time to enjoy it a bit more.
But we know we aren’t like that. When we are in the moment, with our hands full with young ones and keeping up the house and for myself doing as much work as we can on the side to earn a little extra, it is hard for us to think that it will be any different.
However, our lives change as time passes. Children grow up and have their own families. For whatever reason, life scatters us across the globe. And we begin to realize just how special those times were.
As I wrapped the things that I am sending to my daughter, I felt sense of longing for those days when we were all together. The memories of those holidays long ago spent not only with Danielle, but also with Phil and my dear friend Cari and her family burned bright in my mind.
Those thoughts mostly brought feelings of happiness, as they were filled with love and joy and a sense of family and togetherness that would fit well into any Christmas story. I still remember the decorations and the wonderful food and seeing the kids’ faces when they opened their gifts. One year we got Phil a Nintendo game and I don’t remember ever seeing him so happy over a gift. He played that game the entire day, and all through the Christmas holiday. It was just as much fun for us watching him and we wondered if he would ever stop.
I like reliving those memories. They still stir many of the good feelings that they did at the time they occurred. They are stored in the back of my mind and I can pull on them whenever I need them to fill my heart.
I can tell I am getting old, because young people don’t think like this. Perhaps they are too busy with day to day life to realize that children grow and lives change and that one day they too will find themselves reminiscing.
But I am not sad about this. I feel very fortunate to have these memories to look back upon. I think of my children now – both grown adults with busy and productive lives – and I know that they also have these memories that they look back on with fondness. And I think it makes them appreciate the things around them just a bit more.
Last weekend, my son’s participated in “Shop With a Cop” program. Thanks to donations to “Santa’s Cops”, the Joliet police department was able to treat over 108 kids to a Christmas shopping spree at WalMart. Here is a picture of my son and the two kids he took shopping:
He said the look on their faces when shopping was incredible. I am thinking it is similar to the same look on his own face many years ago when he opened that Nintendo we got him.
I am glad he knows the feeling of joy you get from giving and helping others. To me, there is nothing that compares. I am so proud of him not only for this one event, but that he gives to others ever day of his life. As a mom, nothing is more rewarding than seeing that your children are happy and successful.
I miss both my children a great deal. But I know that part of being a parent is letting go. It does my heart good to see both of my children flourish and become responsible, giving and happy adults. And I know that whether we can be together or not, each of us lives in the others’ heart.
I look at my families that I have here in Canada. Bernie and Ellen and their family as well as Keith’s family who has brought me into their own with open arms, and I realize just how fortunate I am.
If I have learned anything over the years, I have learned to appreciate each day as it comes. Treat each person in your life with care. Savor every moment as if it were your last.
We never know when our days here will end. Or those of the people we love. These past few weeks I have rather slowed down a bit with my work in order to take some time to enjoy the things around me. I have still been getting things done, but at a pace that has allowed me to enjoy not only the people around me, but my life in general.
I am fortunate in that my work allows me to do this. And I know in my heart that I will once again be more diligent in working on new projects. But for now, I will enjoy taking the time for the important things in life like my family and friends. And making some new memories to add to my old ones.
Remember to take time to enjoy your day.
This is a picture of Ellen and Bernie with their great-grandson Tucker. Tucker is visiting all the way from Alberta to spend this Christmas with his family here in Nova Scotia. What a beautiful picture and a wonderful memory being made!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"