The Christmas Miracle

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With Christmas coming up the past few days has got me to thinking of how not only do seasons change but so do our lives.When we were young parents Christmas was so important to me because I wanted my kids to have a good holiday.I know that sounds bad but there is a reason.

My Dad was killed when I was eight years old.He was in a car accident on September 8th,my sister Linette’s birthday.We were sitting at the table getting ready to eat birthday cake when a police officer came knocking on our door.I can’t remember how the whole thing went down but I know they took my mom to my Uncle Ralph and Aunt Charlene’s that lived around the corner because we didn’t have a car for Mom to get to the hospital.We were farmed out to family as my Mom stayed at the hospital with Daddy.He died of head injuries on the 13th of September,my cousin Elaine’s birthday.Some of the things I remember so vividly and some of them are sketchy.Eternal sadness was the worst because our laughing Daddy was never coming back.Reality set in and with it came responsibility shoved on a big sister way to soon.I felt the world change in an instant and took my sisters in my aching heart never to be taken out.As kids are I soon got the new normal down pat and we got to living this hard life.After September came October and no Halloween for us.I think Mom was just used up by then.I can’t imagine having five little girls and no job not driving you stark raving mad.

We went to a little church school and as Christmas came up started to practice for the pageant at church.It was the light of the school year for me and my sisters.We always had a pretty dress and my Mom fixed our hair and had us smelling pretty from our baths.We would come home from church and Santa would have come and left our presents.This year was going to be different I knew because Mom wasn’t acting right.I would hear her crying in her bedroom at night and wonder what was wrong but too scared to go ask her.How I wish I would have went in there now and comforted her.She needed me to hug her now I know.To tell her everything was going to be OK but I never did.

The night of the Christmas program came and we went to church.Mom was so sad I remember and I couldn’t imagine why.After the program was over she packed us up and we went home.Mom was crying.We lived in a big farm house that belonged to my Grandpa Jahr.It had a sun porch that you had to enter before you went into the kitchen.When Mom opened that door she got the biggest surprise of her life.It was stacked from front to back with presents for us.More than we had ever had in our life.I really don’t remember what we got but I remember the look of disbelief on my Mom’s face.

That night we stayed up late playing and it was my old Mom back for a while.I found out many years later that she was crying because she had nothing to give us for Christmas.To this day we don’t know where the presents came from.I wish I knew so I could tell them that as a grandma now I still am thankful for the little girl in myself.That is why I think Christmas is so important to my sisters and me.That picture above is of our little kids that were about the same age as we were when Daddy was taken from us.We never wanted them to feel the sadness of a parent like we did and for the most part most of them haven’t.

What I want to leave you with today is this.Don’t be afraid to do a random act of kindness for someone.I have heard people grumble about so and so not having any money because of this or that,but the little ones are not in charge of the money.They are the innocent in all of it.You never know what kind of a Christmas Miracle you can create at any time of the year.I know the one my sisters and I got that day long ago is something I will never forget.Was it a person or was it something else,a vessel God used,I don’t know,but it is something I will always be thankful for and I will never forget it.

To my Grandkids when they read this after they get older I want you to always remember that giving is a part of growing.Kindness is one of the things that is so important to your Nana.Try not to judge.It is something your Nana has struggled with and if there is anything I want you to remember about me it is that I want to be kind.You already know that I love you now I want you to take it out into the world and pass it on.

Thoughts on Memorial Day

american flagI have been thinking all morning about Memorial Day and how much I have always loved it.All of us at work looked so forward to an extra long weekend.Some of us went on vacation.It is the beginning of camping season to some and to the country folks a time to get your garden planted and the lawn trimmed for the summer season.In a way it is sad,because I believe a lot of us, myself included,sometimes forget the reason we get the day off in the first place.

daddy 001This is my Dad.He was Daddy to his little girls and we loved him intensely.He was a paratrooper in the Korean War.I love this picture of him with his sister,my Aunt Bets,and a family friend.My Grandma Hahn had oodles of letters he wrote to her when he was on deployment and let me read them one time.He was always up beat and I knew he loved his Mom.Those letters she cherished even after he got home.There was no email Facebook or Skype back then so I can imagine how many times those snippets of love were looked at.He came home married my mom and had five little girls.He was killed in a car accident when I was eight years old and my littlest sister was not even two.

bethy 6This is my daughter Bethany Lorelei.She is in the  United States Navy.Here she is in the Honor Guard at Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Bethy 3Now she is an inspector for the Navy in the aircraft department.She tries to explain things to me but most of the time it goes right over my head.I know this isn’t the right way to say her job but I hope you get the idea.I never thought that my little Boots would be doing this.She is proud and she is happy and I’m not bragging but very good at her job.That is just a fact.I believe she was first in her class and she got many awards.You go little Owendalette.Your family loves you.

I hope this Memorial weekend  everyone stops and takes a minute to reflect on the people that help keep us safe.They are somebodies dad,wife,daughter,son.Let’s remember why we get this long weekend and if you can and you know somebody in the military,give them some love.It is easy with todays technology.Okay Bethy,get ready now, here it comes,can you feel it?That’s right it’s my arms around you in the biggest cyber hug you have ever felt.Now here comes Dad with his arms open,too.Oh ,and no that wasn’t a hair brushing on your forehead,it was his kiss.Thank you and love you.Mom and Dad