3:53 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, 2 days after Christmas 2020. And only 3 days & 20 hours until the beginning of 2021.
Christmas Eve was spent alone.
The first time in MY LIFE that I have been alone on Christmas Eve. It was not horrible, but it wasn't good either. I did a lot of thinking, some praying. Watched a movie, and went to bed early. Didn't sleep worth much, guess my mind and heart were too busy trying to sort thru some emotions. But I guess the important thing to remember is that I survived.
Christmas morning was just as different.
I have spent Christmas Day alone more than once due to Rick working that day. And once, because he and our son decided to go hunting after opening gifts, and our daughter went to a friend's.
But NEVER (again) have I woke up alone on Christmas morning.
NEVER have I drank coffee alone on Christmas morning.
This was the first Christmas that there was not one gift under the tree.
So, yeah. Different - that's a word, right?
I did drink my coffee and wrote in my journal.
Read my Bible and devotionals.
Brushed my hair. Got dressed.
Gathered the things I needed for the day.
And drove over to our son's for Christmas.
Watched the grandkids open their "big" gifts.
We laughed and talked.
Ate some pie. Laughing and talking around the table.
Then, we all went to the corral and watched my son and grandson start a 3 year old colt.
And ... laughed some more.
I had a good day with them. Different, but good.
A good supper of steak, salad, deviled eggs and rolls.
More laughter as stories were told and the BS got deeper by the sentence!
Daughter sent me some priceless pictures thru the day of her and the grandkids.
Marine grandson is in on leave.
I have not gotten to see him yet, due to distance between us, and the sad fact of lack of $$ for fuel for me to get down there.
Hopefully, they will be able to come up here to see her brother and me before time for our Marine to fly back to base, and then to be deployed in February.
It's already been a year since I have seen him, my heart is aching pretty bad now!
After the activities of Christmas Day, I drove back here to the apartment.
Just as I walked in, the sight of the Christmas tree hit me square between the heart and my breath.
A vivid and poignant reminder of just how alone I am most of the time these days.
I put the tree up with a hope (silly, I know) that some how, it would draw some one to come see me HERE.
To come, see the tree, and sit to visit with me here in this apartment.
Seeing it Christmas Day evening, made all the alone hours come crashing down on my memory and mind.
So, I started taking it down.
Packed up all the ornaments.
That about broke my heart - just the thought of it all.
I then decided to wait until the next morning to take the tree itself down.
But the decision was made that unless life changes for me in 2021, there will be no Christmas tree put up next year.
My heart can only handle so much hope deferred.
The tree is down.
Rest of apartment decorations are down as well.
Just the every day stuff remains.
The only tell-tale of Christmas here are a few candy canes that I had bought for anyone who came.
And I still hold on to them in hopes that yet someone will visit.
Yesterday and today have been spent resting my heart, watching movies with meaning, took a nap yesterday (that was refreshing and good), and trying to wrap my mind around what I need to do, or what I want to do, in 2021.
I don't have a firm plan yet, but I know this.
I do not want to be in the same place this time next year.
Oh, being here at the apartment is just fine. As long as God wants me here, He will provide the rent for me. And I have been praying since the first night here that when God is ready for me to move, He will make it as clear to me as though His Hand was writing it on the wall. I don't want to screw up!
But I don't want to be in the same place in my life.
*I know that I want to lose weight, and I am going to work my butt off - literally!
*I know that I want to increase my learning, and I have already signed up for a couple of learning courses.
*I know that I want to continue with this website, not just maintaining it, but adding to it, and figuring out a way to draw an audience to it.
*I'm already working on Christmas gifts for our kids and grandkids for next year. Handmade by Love.
*Down-sizing. I didn't really think I could down size anymore, but in looking around here, in my closet and such, I know there is room to do just that. Let things go.
*It's also time to let some people and memories go. Those that no longer serve the good in me. Those that make me feel much dread and anxiety.
*And it's time to reach beyond myself. Still trying to figure out the "how" on this.
These are NOT New Year Resolutions.
These are LIFE Resolutions.
Already begun, and it's not the New Year, yet.
I am soon to be 60.
In 127 days from today.
I will be 60 years old.
What do I want to be when "I grow up"?
Thinking it's time to not only decide that, but to do it!!!
Christmas Eve 2020
The first time I have been alone in, I guess, 40 years.
That very first Christmas as Rick’s wife.
He had chosen to work a double shift Christmas Day, because that meant better pay - and he was giving those with children the day off to enjoy with their family.
I spent that whole Christmas Day, from the time he left, until just a few minutes before he returned, sitting on the floor in front of the Christmas tree -
- remembering the Christmas time past with daddy and momma
- wondering what our Christmas future would be like
- and crying my heart out for the Christmas that I was enduring
The following year, we had a brand-new baby, less than a month old
And all the next years were spent laughing, baking, cooking, having all those hours shopping & wrapping be torn into in just a matter of minutes with squeals of pleasure, hugs and kisses, movie watching, Christmas light looking, decorating, cleaning ... and a hundred other Christmas activities.
When the kids were grown and were making their own families and memories, Rick and I did Christmas a bit different every year.
But he always made sure I had the tree and decorations, the movies were watched, the drive was taken to look at Christmas lights, cookies were baked, food was cooked.
He made sure there was the Christmas Eve kiss.
- Oh that kiss! I still believe it was one of the BEST of each year!
- I would stand facing the tree. He would come up behind me. Softly move my hair to one side. Wrap his arms around me. Lay his head on my shoulder. We would both take a deep breath, letting it out slowly and softly.
- Then those words, spoken huskily filled with emotion and love, those words that my heart aches to hear even now: “You done good, girl!”
- He would gently turn me towards him. Look deep into my eyes. Like he was searching for some kind of hidden treasure. Then, ever so gently, he would place that wonderful, tender, most perfect, forehead kiss.
- Afterwards, I would turn my head and lay my cheek on his chest. We were wrapped in each other’s arms and time stood still. I never knew how long we stood there like that. But I can tell you now - it was never long enough!
- He would take one hand and stroke my hair. Then, he would tenderly kiss the top of my head.
- His next words always made me giggle. “You smell like cookies and ham! Smells good enough to eat!”
- He would let me go and turn towards the kitchen, with me hot on his heels! “DO NOT cut that ham, Ricky Lee!”
And every year ... he cut the ham on Christmas Eve.
This is the 6th year now that he hasn’t cut the ham ... and I do believe I miss him more than I ever thought I could.
Oh he was something else!!!
So this Christmas Eve, 2020 -
I sit here with a river of tears streaming down my face, as I remember our Christmas Eve kiss
And I am so thankful that Rick was the way he was
He loved God with all his heart and soul
He led me and the kids by example
He made mistakes, he took missteps
He said things he shouldn’t have said
He did some things that he deeply regretted
So, he wasn’t perfect - but perfect for me
He wasn’t perfect - but he was forgiven.
And I am so thankful that he was mine, and I was his.
It’s different being alone
I don’t need the cookies, cakes, or pies - so no baking
- well, I did make 2 pies for my son. His favorite. Jeff Davis Pies.
I have been invited over for a Christmas dinner with my son and his family, so tomorrow I will be with them for a few hours.
- and I know there will be laughter and love, and it will feel good. Different, but good.
But because of this invitation, there is no ham cooking today - which is really ok, Rick was the "ham-aholic" not me. lol
And due to a shortage of money, there have been no presents bought, so none wrapped.
Being alone, also means not a present under my little tree.
Just my memories.
I know that there are many people who are spending this Christmas alone.
Not just Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day as well.
My heart goes to you - and I pray that you will know peace.
For whatever reason that you are alone, my hope is that you know you are not alone
- there are many who are traveling this way with you
- and God is always by your side.
Oh I know, way too often in this life, those words seem just that - words
But I am here to tell you - they are MORE than just words
In these last few weeks especially, I have come to know the very Presence of the Living God in my life.
And while I ache and long for that human touch - just a hug, a forehead kiss ...
I would not trade this Presence even for that.
Cry out to Him - He is listening
And He has an almost magical way of filling your soul with Peace, and your heart with Joy.
Cry out to Him today!
So to all - Merry Christmas!
May you know the Blessings of the Christ child.
After writing and sharing the post about Christmas 2020 and all that I am missing,
I wanted to share this one, it’s kind of like the “flip-side”:
(mostly written several years ago, but again, very relatable to my life today ... perhaps to yours as well)
I am thankful, yes.
But after this year of 2020, I am learning to be thankful to God with the same intensity as that in which I pray and ask for something.
Yes, we are "missing" a lot of THINGS this year ... job, money, Christmas tree and presents and cards, groceries, money to even pay the bills ...
But we are SO BLESSED!!!!!
We have a God and Father who loves us - John 3:16.
We have a Saviour who died for us.
As well as a Spirit who raised Him from the dead and makes Him to live forevermore!
We also have a Spirit who is our Teacher, our Comforter.
We have the Word of God to read, and to draw wisdom, insight, understanding.
- I have learned in a fresh and new way that what was written thousands of years ago has direct meaning to my life today.
*God has given me a good man in my husband.
We have been married for 30 years.
We have seen a lot of good times, and some hard times.
We have enjoyed plenty, and we have endured little.
(we had 34 years, 7 months, 17 days and 11 hours together ... in love from the beginning till the end.
He kept his word - till death do us part.)
*God has blessed me richly in my 2 children.
My "favorite" daughter.
My "favorite" son.
How I love them both!!!
They have given me laughter, and tears.
And they have made my hair grey! LOL
If I could have chosen my children - I would have chosen Angel and Joshua!
*God has opened the windows of heaven and poured a blessing out on me that I cannot contain by giving me 4 precious and "perfect" grandchildren.
They are the wind beneath my wings.
Oh how I love them!
How I thank God daily for them.
*God has blessed us with family - past and present.
Some have gone on ... some are lingering.
But all are blessings.
Some we have seen and been in contact with.
Some are near strangers to us.
But all are blessings.
ROOTS ... that is what we have.
*God has increased our friends ... seems every day either a "new" friend, or a deeper walk with one already, takes place.
*God has brought us food that we did not buy.
*He has given us health that we did not earn.
*He has even made a way for some of the bills to be paid.
With money that we didn't have a job to work for.
It is so easy to get our eyes on what we do not have ...
and so much harder to stay focused on what we are blessed to have!
Open our hearts Lord.
Open our eyes.
May we see the blessings you have poured out on us.
May we never take them for granted again.
"The Lord gives. The Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!!!"
2020 has been a difficult year for all of us
Some have endured the Covid-19, suffering thru the symptoms, and surviving
Sadly, many have not survived, and our hearts are hurting as there are more empty chairs around the tables
Due to the Covid-19, there are many who are in quarantine/isolation and will not be gathering with their loved ones
There are those who have been laid-off work because of the down turn in the economy, thanks again to Covid-19
The business owners who have had to close their businesses, not just for a time, but for all time, due to Covid-19
I realize that not all problems are as a direct, or even indirect, result to Covid-19, but for this Christmas of 2020, it sure feels like it.
I wrote this several years ago, but it applies even more to my life this year
And after reading a lot of social media posts, comments and talking to some thru messages,
Well, I think there are many, too many, who can relate - at least to some of what I wrote then:
I have changed in all of this – and I hope for the better.
~I don’t think I will ever complain again about how crowded the stores are, how crazy it all gets at the holidays.
This has been such a still and quiet year for me.
No baking – no grocery shopping.
No presents – no shopping, no wrapping.
I have been so caught up in it all for all these years … now this.
I heard last night – “You don’t know what you miss until you lose it all.”
How true that is!!!
~I miss buying groceries – making a list, finding a parking space, walking into a busy and noisy store, even the feel of a grocery cart under my hands.
Walking down the aisles, seeing the products – trying to make wise choices, finding the best buys.
Even waiting in line to check out.
Then, the drive home – wondering how well I really did … did I get anything we didn’t need?
Did I “beat the system”? LOL
Getting home, unloading the truck, unpacking and putting away the groceries.
That feel that comes with knowing that we will eat for the next however long till it is time to do it all over again.
And just knowing that all the ingredients to a wonderful Christmas celebration meal just waits for the cooking.
Tired, accomplished, satisfied … and not knowing what to cook for dinner!!! LOL
~I miss buying the Christmas presents.
Walking into the stores with little or no idea of what to buy.
Only a list of those to buy for.
Trying to match gifts to the desires and personalities of those on my heart and list.
Bringing them home, wrapping the presents and imagining the look on their faces when they open them.
~I miss the smell of baking in the house.
Cookies. Cakes. Pies.
I miss the mess in my kitchen!
I miss being covered in the spills and splatters.
I miss going to bed exhausted but knowing that my heart and love has been poured out for that day.
I miss having the joy of giving it all away – in my home, or to some one else’s home.
~I miss the expectation, the anticipation, the preparations for the get togethers.
Trying to figure out what to cook … what to wear … balancing the time to get it all ready and be there on time and in the right spirit and mood.
~I miss a Christmas tree.
Getting it put up … the ornaments unpacked – and all the memories that come with them of past Christmases.
Dressing the tree.
Then standing back and looking when the lights are first turned on.
I even miss being tired of the tree and taking it down, packing it away with all the memories of this year.
~We have received some Christmas cards, and with the joy of getting them there is also a pain in my heart –
knowing that I cannot sign a card, cannot mail a card.
No cards, no stamps, no money.
~I miss those that will not be with us this year.
Those that we have said that final earthly good-bye to
Those that remind me yet again why I do not like to say “good-bye”
To see the empty chairs
To see no presents with their name on them
To hold a card neither addressed to them, nor from them
Yes, there are many things that we have “lost” this year that I miss.
And I pray with all my heart that when they are returned to us, that I will do better with them than I ever have in my life!
Not to complain as much.
Not to take them for granted.
Just to enjoy and relish every moment of LIFE and those that we LIVE it with!
God, here we are, full circle again ;)
Where it all begins -
I am Your woman,
And Rick’s widow
Living this life
A heart’s desire to do better, to be better
But with the reality of my life seeming to be like the movie Groundhog Day
Over and over and over
Not really growing
Not really changing
But not going backwards either
Just here - always “ok”
Nothing majorly wrong
But not a lot whole lot right, either
With the whole ALONE thing screaming at me constantly
God, I want to pull myself up - but it’s hard.
- just as hard as it would be to reach down and grab hold of my boots, then lift myself off the floor, both feet at the same time
God, I sit here this morning with the realization yet again -
- I am Alone.
- I have no one to call
- no one to be accountable to
- no friend to reach out for when my heart is hurting
- no one to listen to my heart, my mind, when the thoughts, the ideas, the dreams, and the memories assail me from every side
- no manual for living this life
- no one to help me navigate these waters
It’s a lonesome feeling, God
God, I know You have me,
And I have You
You are holding me
You are guiding me
But sometimes I miss the steps, and I don’t make it right
I question what I hear in my head - is it You? Or is it me?
Yes, there’s a lot of information in our world, most of it accessible by the Internet
- but how much of it applies to me?
- how much of it is real?
- how much of it is solid truth? Even from those who declare they are Christians
God, I need YOU to show me the way thru all of this
- I’ve never walked in a mine field, but I have seen TV shows and movies where people did
- and this is what I imagine it feeling like
- believing in getting to the other side
- but not sure
- with every word spoken, is it too loud, will it vibrate the earth too much under my feet?
- with every step taken, is it too hard, will my foot land on an explosive mine?
- with every thing done, God, is this the one mistake away from You leaving me this way?
God, will You help me, please.
In Jesus’ Name
Thank You, God, for loving me completely, understanding me fully
I love You!!!
Blessed be Your Name!!!
El ha-Gibbor - God the Hero, God the Strong, God the Warrior
El Shaddai - Lord God Almighty, the All-Sufficient One
Migdal Oz - Strong Tower, my Stronghold
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here