When I was a little girl, my favorite time was Christmas...because I knew we were going to get to see my grandparents, a few hours away. Grandma had the tree fixed so beautiful and the tinsel was hanging and she had those big lights...you know the ones. I could always smell something amazing cooking in the kitchen. On Christmas Eve, everyone would drop by and see my grandparents and I loved it. Before we would go to bed...Grandma had one of those old timey radios. She turned it to the channel where it told us exactly where Santa Claus was. She would always say "You better hurry up...he's over in England now and it won't take him long" My brother and I would take off running for the bed. My sisters were older, so they shuffled instead of running. :)
It was like magic waking up and being in their home. It felt like a warm blanket being lovingly wrapped around you. You could smell the freshly baked bread, I could smell ham before my feet even hit the floor. I would run through the house and scream for everyone else to wake up. My Pa (grandpa) was already dressed in his finest...as always.
Grandma would sit next to me near the tree while I opened my presents and to see her smile made the world alright. There was always laughter, no matter if it was Christmas or any other time.
I loved my grandparents with all my heart. My grandmother (Alva) was my hero. They lived in a very old home and it was sloped sideways just a little because of the length of time that it had been there. In my eyes, and even today when I drive by...it was a Castle. There was love and constant food. I loved going with my Grandmother to take Aunt Ruth (my Pa's sister) a present and food to the nursing home. We would bring goodies and I loved handing out candy canes and skipping down the halls. Aunt Ruth had to be told each time who I was. And each time she would say "Well, lord you've done grown up and gotten fat". I would look at Grandma with a tear starting to form. She would just pat my head. Then, I would just skip down the halls and wave to everyone. ***Side note: Aunt Ruth said that every time until the day she died***
Many years have passed since those beautiful times. My "Pa" died around 1999. He was the finest man on the planet. Loved God with all of his heart. So did my grandmother. God was their whole entire life. My grandmother missed my Pa so much...they had been married for over 55 years. He was the love of her life and he was hers. But, God was the true love of their lives.
On Sept. 29th, 2000, Grandma went to revival at the church they attended and where my Pa used to preach. She got in line at the buffet and I envision her right this minute saying "Well, bless your heart, you go on and get some food, I will get mine in a minute". She probably had that beautiful smile of hers. She had her plate in her hand and she fell to the ground suddenly. Love took her Home on that day. My first born was blessed enough to be held by that Godly, amazing, strong, beautiful woman named Alva. I just wished she could have met our other two children.
I see her all the time, I smell her perfume, I smell her cooking. Most of all, I remember the little things which now are huge. Like rocking on the front porch with her and her just holding my hand as the cars went by. Or when my Pa would let me stay up late when my parents were away. I thought it was awesome to be able to put a blanket on the floor next to my grandparents. The memories are so etched in my soul.
Love took a lot of people Home that have been in my life and those around me. Both my other grandparents, Husband's grandparents (except for Grandma Dot), Siblings, a child, Uncles, Aunts, cousins, friends of both myself and husband. And in 2004, it was time for my Father in Law to go home and live a life in heaven without cancer.
Even though I am surrounded by my whole family, also my Mom and Dad, brother and sisters, sometimes the holidays are hard for me. I am always told how sensitive I am. But, God gave me that trait. So, I am not going to repress it. But, especially at this time of year, I am so sensitive to those in need. I hurt for those that are hurting. I want to do everything to let people know that they are loved. Alva did. She would make bread and hand them out to those that were needy at Christmas time. And yet, my grandparents were so poor that they accepted food from the church. I know she was so humbled by that, but, she was a prideful woman..but, she took the help with grace.
This time of year, I just want to run to Grandma's house and be hit with all the smells, people and laughter. Most of all, I want to put my head on her lap and have her run her fingers through my hair and tell me that "everything was going to be alright, if you just put it in Gods hands" I wanted her to meet our other two children that she never got to see.
There are so many memories from so many people that Love (God) has taken them home.
I know many of you have lost a parent, a child, a friend, a significant other, a beloved pet, sister, brother..the list goes on. If I could, I would give each of you a hug right now. This time of year can bring out loneliness for those that have lost someone through death...or have lost them through breakup or whatever it may be. What gets me through, is that I envision my sweet grandma up there having a wonderful time and laughing and dancing. She is smiling on us right now. So, for those of you that have also lost someone through death...just know that they are up there having the best celebration and feast that our minds can't even grasp. And, they are looking down on each of you and they are your Guardian Angels. Celebrate that fact.
We bake a cake every year for Jesus birthday and for me it is also a time to celebrate those that I loved that were taken home. Sure, I cry and somehow...I know one of my angels are wiping away my tears. So, if you are lonely, depressed, sad, discouraged...bake a cake in honor of your loved one, or if you are with others...buy those small candles and get together with your friends or family and light the candle in remembrance. Not so that you can feel the pain all over again. So that you can celebrate their life. Because trust me, they are free from pain, hurt,and all the worldly things. They are having the best time of their life. And I know, they want that for each of us.
We never know when Love will take us Home.....lets try to make each day count and tell the people in our lives that we love them and appreciate them. Not just your family, but, your friends too.. both new and old.
I have attached a video that is about losing someone. For me...my comfort is knowing that Love (God) took them Home.
It is well with my soul and let it be with yours.
This video was made for Maria Chapman (daughter of Stephen Curtis Chapman) and listen to the words. They are so true for any of us who has lost someone.