Friday, December 23, 2011

The Harsh Reality

I'm linking up with Rachel at Finding Joy today for Friday Favorites. The past few weeks  I've spent a lot of time reflecting on past Christmases and wanted to share a few of those reflections and some photos of Christmases past with you.

 For several years Christmas has evoked many emotions for me.  I think that, for me at least, until I was around 40 years old, I never thought too much about our parents, our children and the changes that were looming ahead. I took for granted that my sweet MIL and mother would always be preparing the Christmas meal and all "me and mine" would do is "show up."  I never thought about the fact  that my children would grow up, establish their own homes and I would have to share them at Christmas.  And, then the harsh reality HIT!



Our parents  would not always be with us and the kids would grow up. 



While reflecting upon the 41 Christmases that Hubby and I have shared , I have so many wonderful memories.  But, that same reflection brings about a certain sadness that so much has changed.  We only have one parent left out of the four and of course, we truly did not know if we would have my Dad around for this Christmas.
 


When the above picture was taken, little did we know that would be my Mom's last Christmas.  She would pass away the following December 1st.  


And, little did we know last Christmas that my Dad would be stricken with a dibilitating condition this past July that would cause him to have to have full time nursing care in a facility.

As much as I am looking forward to Christmas, there is a part of my heart that feels a certain sadness that will likely never go away.  But, it will not diminish the new and exciting memories we are in the process of making with our children, their spouses and grandchildren.  And, I can almost assuredly say that my children have not reached a point where they realize that things will not always be as they are now.  But, that's okay, the harsh reality will hit them soon enough and in the meantime we're going to stock up memories for them to cherish when things change.


Lea
Lea

Hi there! My name is Lea. I've been wife to the best Hubby for 44 years....Mom to a son and daughter....CiCi to 4 precious Grans....lover of family and friends....enjoy laughter and a good time....shopper....picture taking maniac....maker of delicious fudge....organizational enthusiast....memory maker....Southern Belle...and most importantly.....a Child of the King! Welcome to my little corner!

14 comments:

  1. I can relate. My patents divorced when I was five. Then my dad died when I was nine. So Christmases have always pained me a bit since then. They kind of remind me that my family is different, not that normal, and it makes me sad. But, it's sweet now seeing Christmas through the eyes of our kiddos.

    What precious pictures and memories. Love on your dad extra this year! May you have a beautiful celebration.

    Love and hugs, dear Lea!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my friend, you have brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful and nostalgic post. I have this memory of the last Christmas at my grandparents house -- I remember pulling away and looking at my grandpa, who I loved greatly, waving to me. For some reason I was acutely aware that this was the last time, the last Christmas with him. It was if the Lord prepped my heart. I can still see him, my six foot tall retired farmer grandpa standing in the freezing cold to wave goodbye to my family. He died seven months later from pancreatic cancer. I really do miss him.

    Thank you for being so open in your writing and sharing your heart.This post reminded me of that memory of my grandpa. And while I'm teary, I'm grateful for those Christmas memories.

    You have blessed me more than I could write -- I am praying for the day when I can meet you in person and thank you with a real Minnesotan hug.

    Blessed by you. Honored to call you friend.

    Love,

    Rachel

    ReplyDelete
  3. well you know my Christmas will be very different this year. There is of course sadness but I am putting on a HAPPY face for my children. My Mom would want that.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family. I love the old photos.

    p.s. Your Mom was a beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your sweet post just reminds me that we must never take one moment for granted, we are never promised tomorrow! I have chill bumps all over...Praying for you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. While things change (children grow up and marry and our parents pass), the memories never leave us ... and often sustain us. And of course as you mentioned, we're busy making new memories.

    My mom passed on Christmas Eve 5 years ago ... so Christmases aren't the same. But I have 4 precious grands who keep the sad reality from hitting so hard. ;-)

    Wishing you and yours a very blessed Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful post...it really expresses the feelings of Christmas for a majority of us...time goes on and with it the mixed blessings. I too sometimes wish we were back in the 80's with the children younger, everyone alive...today I rejoice in the moments we have.

    My parents will be here to celebrate tonight...their first Christmas with us in a decade...and who knows what tomorrow holds

    Merry Christmas...precious post and hugs for this season

    ReplyDelete
  7. We were talking about this the other day. We have lost three parents and a brother in the last 5 years, and things have certainly changed. I hope your Christmas with your dad this year gives you many moments for loving on each other and making memories. We continue to hold your family in our prayers...Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Praying for you, sweet friend. Thinking of you this Christmas season!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very beautiful! Hope you have a blessed Christmas filled with precious new memories! How awesome to know how faithful God is, even in the unexpected! I'm learning that A LOT this year!

    Love ya lots! Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can soo relate to this post. I think Christmas does that to most of us. My father died when I was a mere 25 years old, and I never go through a Christmas without remembering how much he loved it. My mom and step dad have had such a rough year I am truly afraid this might be their last. And this is the VERY first Christmas season that will pass and I will not see my daughter at all... : ( And yet!! I spent ALL day yesterday with a couple of my grandkids. Such a good day we had. I got soo much pleasure watching the two of them enjoy everything from that innocent point of view. I told my hubby it just made everything seem sooo Christmasy FINALLY. Your soo right....new young ones, new memories, new traditions...it all just keeps going on. Wishing you and yours a blessed and joyous Christmas! HUGS

    ReplyDelete
  11. I know that with the changes that have come in my life recently I am truly grasping the real meaning of Christmas. I will spend this Christmas Dinner at Memory Care with my Dad. Nothing will be the same this year. It is difficult but it is taking me to that place that says "only one life, twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last." The meal doesn't matter, the gifts don't matter, and the decorations don't matter. Jesus and being Jesus to those in need. That is all that matters. Merry Christmas to you and yours Lea!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The pictures are all so lovely.
    It is harsh. I have felt this more this year by turning 60. That was my grandparents, not me! Now here I am and I don't know where the time has gone.
    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just doing a little "catching up" - this post made me do some reflecting too. I'm so thankful that you have your precious, precious "grans" to celebrate and make new memories with! I do hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and that 2012 is full of abundant blessings for you and your sweet family. Love you!

    ReplyDelete

So glad you stopped by and hope you enjoyed your visit. I love your comments and read each and every one of them and I always try to reply to them. Blessings to you this day!