The seasons change year after year, we evolve as people, our families grow and shrink but one thing always remains MEMORIES. Many of them lessons learned throughout the year others ones we fondly recall which remind us of simpler times.
It has been a fair amount of time since I felt the presence of my Grandmother around me I used to feel her often. For some reason today she came to me but not before dropping a bunch of hints. There was the dime I found seconds after clearing my kitchen table yesterday, the photographs my Aunt posted on Facebook of both her and my Grandfather. Last night in a grocery store parking lot a man approached my husband and I, he suffered from Parkinson’s and was asking for money to buy him and his son Christmas dinner. My grandmother had Parkinson’s and we decided a gift card would help him most. Then the nagging guilt I got this morning as I realized it is December 22ndand I’ve done none of my regular yearly holiday baking due to a particularly shitty month with my mental health.
My Grandmother was a strong woman, she was the glue in our family always guiding her 5 children to stay together and love each other through thick and thin. Christmas was a special time when all 5 children and 13 grandchildren would typically gather in my grandparents one-bedroom apartment or at one of their 5 children’s homes. It didn’t matter where it just mattered that we were together. There are so many stories like the crazy red and white outfits my mother sewed for us all to wear for photographs, the year my uncle hired a drunken Santa and of course some bumps and bruises from jumping on beds or beating each other up when we got banished to the backroom where the younger boys typically pretended to be WWF wrestlers.
I had no idea that this morning as I began to bake out of guilt that my Grandmother was guiding me to do so. As I began making one of my Aunts prized family recipes Ave Maria came across the radio station I’d been listening to. Immediately I broke down, tears streaming down my face realizing all the signs from the prior day were Grandma. She was here she was giving me guidance, support and love. I felt it so strongly I walked over to her photograph I keep in my living room to acknowledge her presence, as my heart was filled with warmth my mind began to race with memories.
We’ve lost some people throughout the years long before it was their time. We’ve had others take different directions in life choosing to change traditions to suit their busy lives. We are growing slowly with new little ones being added each generation connected a little less to her legacy. Some are battling chronic illness, chronic pain and the ticking of time but somehow we manage to get together as she would have wanted it to be. She truly was the glue keeping us all connected as I’m sure many matriarchs are.
I miss her so much, I miss those simpler times, I miss us altogether…
But I know now what her message was no matter what do not let the Christmas tradition on Christmas Eve die. I feel it is the time when she looks down upon us with her admiration, love and guidance. No matter where any of us are, no matter how much we are suffering, no matter how difficult life is we need to be reminded that on Christmas Eve her memory is alive within all of us.
To my ENTIRE family I Love You all!
With Gratitude I thank you for the support you’ve given me this year and for always being there for me and my family.
Just re-reading this and it has brought tears to my eyes.
I am just thinking of how much her influence is still managing us after 25 years. When I was younger I thought it was control but now I realize it was from all the love in her heart. The family mattered to her and it was important to her that we be together.
Thank you for keeping her memories in your heart. She was very loved.