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Hammer

One last family Christmas...

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Hammer

I posted a similar post some years ago, and I watched some Youtube videos that reminded me of this, so I thought that I'd post it again for newer members to read, if they were so inclined.

 

Years ago, my mother and stepfather were living in an in-law basement apartment, located in the basement of my sister and her husband's house, and it was located in a neighboring state.  Every year for Christmas, my mother and my sister would have a Christmas Eve party, where they would invite all of our relatives, my mother's and sister's friends and co-workers.  The reason it was held on Christmas Eve, was because most of the people who attended, had other commitments for Christmas Day, so having it on Christmas Eve, meant that most of the people who were invited, were free on that day.  My Mom and sister served up lots of Italian foods....Home made lasagna, eggplant parmesan, chicken cacciatore, home made Italian meatballs, sweet and hot Italian sausage, creme puffs, etc.  They made enough food to feed an army, which is typical of Italian families.

 

We lived on the east coast, and I knew that my mother missed my older brother, who lived on the west coast, so one year, I called my brother and asked him if there was anyway that he could come back home for one last Christmas.  I told him that I would pay for his airline ticket, he could stay at my house, and I would pay for anything else that he needed for his stay here.  He said that he would love to come back home, but that his girlfriend (now his wife), wouldn't want to come back home.  His girlfriend was someone that we all knew, since she was someone my brother met when he lived here on the east coast.  My brother and his girlfriend and I, used to hang out together when they lived here, so we all knew each other very well.  She didn't want to come back, due to family issues, but I told her that she didn't need to tell her family that she was back here, so they wouldn't know that she wasn't still on the west coast.  I told my brother to put her on the phone, simply to see if I could convince her to come back east for Christmas.  That's when she said that she didn't want to come back east, because of family issues.  I explained to her that, I completely understood that, but since she didn't have to tell her family that she was going to be coming back east, that she could just stay at my house, and they would never know, and that I would pay for her trip back home.  I also told her that, my mother and stepfather were getting up in age, and that I didn't know how much longer they'd be alive, so this coming Christmas might be the last Christmas that we'd all be together as a family again.

 

She thought about it, then agreed to come back home for Christmas...my brother couldn't believe that I was able to convince her to come back home.  I think that she understood that my mother and stepfather might not be around much longer, so that's what convinced her to come. (my brother would not have come back alone, because he would not have left his girlfriend at home alone on Christmas.)

 

I picked them up at the airport, and drove them to my house.  When it was Christmas Eve, I drove to my sister's house, left my brother and his girlfriend in my car, and I told my mother that I had a gift for her, but that I didn't want to leave it in the car, due to the extreme cold weather. (that year we had an extremely cold winter.)  I asked her if I could bring her gift into the house (she was still cooking dinner with my sister), because I didn't want her gift to be damaged by the cold weather.  She reluctantly agreed, so I went out to my car, and had my brother and his girlfriend come into the house.  They walked up the steps to get to the kitchen....I pretended to be carrying a heavy weight, then placed the heavy weight on the kitchen floor.  Once I did that, I told my mother that she could turn around to see her gift.  She turned around, looking for a gift, then my brother said,"Merry Christmas Mom!"  My mom looked up, saw my brother, then ran over to him crying and hugged him.  Then his girlfriend said, "Merry Christmas Mom!"  My mom saw her and hugged her too.  That was by far, the best Christmas that we ever had!

 

As I stated in the title of this thread, it was one last family Christmas, because four months after this great Christmas, my stepfather died.  I was so happy that I could make my Mom's last family Christmas such a happy one.  I think that was the only time that I was able to make my mom so happy that she cried....I wish that I could go back in time to re-live that moment.....To my Mom...I love you Mom, may you R.I.P.

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buddy7

An articulate and extraordinary thread Hammer, thanks for sharing. Pleased to hear you’ve made your Mom’s Christmas such a happy one that year.

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Kit

What a lovely story.  I believe I've seen you post it before.

 

I am so sorry for your loss.  My deepest condolences.

 

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Hammer

Thank you Buddy and Kit.  My mom was a diminutive woman.....5 foot, three inches tall, but she was a bundle of energy.  I have never met another woman who had her unlimited amount of energy.  When she died a few years ago, everyone who knew her who came to her memorial service said the same thing.  I created a slideshow of all of the pictures of her that I could find, and in one or two pictures, she was sitting on a sofa or on a chair, and the people who were in attendance, wondered how we were able to get her to sit down, since she never relaxed....she was always up and about doing something.

 

It always amazes me that, while she was only 5 foot, three inches tall, she gave birth to myself and my brother, my brother being 6 foot, three inches tall, and myself, 6 foot, two inches tall, and of course my sister, who is 5 foot, 1 inch tall.  We tried to take a family portrait at a studio, and my brother and I had to stand behind my mother, while she sat on an elevated stool.  The photographer did this because my Mom was so short, in comparison to me and my brother, that if we all just stood together, you wouldn't have been able to see my mother.

 

I don't own much, but I'd give up everything that I own, to just have one more day with my mom.  She gave me life, and that is something that I can never repay.

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dowling gram

Hammer---No amount of money spent on a gift could rival the gift you gave your mother. It is so much more precious to visit before a person passes away than to attend a funeral. A funeral is for those left behind. The deceased doesn't care that you are there but a visit while you are still alive is precious.

 

I cherish the picture of my husband fishing with my son and grandsons taken 4 months before he passed away. I know he enjoyed spending one last day doing something he enjoyed with his loved ones even though he was dead tired that night. I love the fact that my son and family traveled to be with him to say their last goodbyes before he left us. Those are treasured memories that show just how much he was loved

 

 

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Hammer

What reminded me of that special Christmas, was this one particular Youtube video of girls/women crying when they received a special gift.  Seeing how the girls/women were so happy when they received the gift, is what made me remember the gift that I gave to my mother that made her so happy that she cried.

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Hammer

Seeing the girls/women's reactions in the above video, I can't help but wonder how my daughter would have reacted if I surprised her with a new car.  I never surprised her with a new car, because I took her to the dealership, and had her pick out the car that she wanted.  I did that three times.....letting her pick out the car that she wanted, and when she left home and bought the car she wanted, I paid it off for her....I mean, she is my daughter, and I want to help her out in any way that I can.  If my mother was still alive, I'd do the same for her.  To me, family is everything, so when I can help out my family, I will do whatever I can to help them.

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dowling gram
Quote

To me, family is everything

 

yep--me too-- and that's the way it should be for everyone.

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Hammer

When I bought my new Dodge Durango, I gave my daughter my 2006, VW Beetle diesel, because I knew that my daughter's stepdaughter wanted that exact vehicle, even though she is only 13 years old.  My daughter remembered that, when she was 12 years old, I bought her the car that she wanted, a new 1992 Chevrolet Beretta, and I kept it until she turned 16, and I took her to get her driver's license.  She asked me why I bought her the car when she was 12, and why, when she turned 16 and got her driver's license, I got her her own insurance policy and titled the car to her.  The reasons were, buying her the car when she was 12 and giving it to her when she turned 16 meant that she was getting a 4 year old car, even though it had very little mileage on it.  Doing that meant that her car insurance rates would be low, since it wasn't a new car.  The reason that I titled the car to her and got her her own insurance policy, was simple....if she were to get in an accident that was her fault, the driver of the other vehicle could only sue her, and since she didn't own anything, they wouldn't get anything.  Had I placed her on my insurance policy, and had I also kept the car in my name, had she had an accident that was her fault, the other person could have sued me for everything that I owned.

 

I just wanted to mention this after seeing the above link where parents gave their kids cars.....just to let everyone here know about the pitfalls of giving their kids a car for Christmas or their birthday, or whatever.

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