I am so excited to introduce you to my very talented writer friend Jennifer Allen. I think you’ll agree the post she’s sharing with us today is so sweet and lovely. If your interested in more of her writing check out her blog “Once Upon a Writer” where one of my posts is being featured (It’s about the horror of a bug infested xmas tree). Enjoy!
A few nights ago my husband, daughters and I came home after an evening of running errands. As we walked in the door my dad smiled big at my daughter, Aletheia, and told her a surprise was waiting for her in her room.
Excited, we all went upstairs to find a small but beautiful Christmas tree had been placed in each of my daughters’ rooms.
As soon as I saw the trees I knew who was behind this Christmas joy. My mom. My mom who makes all things beautiful.
For the past five years, my husband and I have shared a roof with my mom and dad. Originally we moved in for what we thought would be a month or two while my husband waited for a job offer to come through.
In the end, he ended up starting his own company and while we’ve gotten our business up and going, my mom and dad have been beyond generous to allow my growing family to share their home. What started as two extra bodies, multiplied into four as my daughters Aletheia and Tenley were born.
All in all, it’s been a time of great blessing for each of us. My girls love growing up with not just mom and dad, but Nannie and Papa too. I love seeing my mom and dad almost every day, and with the extra help, my husband has been free to concentrate on his business.
Sadly, our time together is quickly reaching its end, at least for a while. In September my dad was offered a job in North Carolina and while he and my mom relocate this January, my family and I will stay in Michigan and keep watch over our castle.
When the time comes for my mom and dad to leave, I know there is a lot I will miss.
I’ll miss the way my dad and my girls run circles around our living room filling the whole house with laughter.
I’ll miss cooking supper with my mom. I’ll miss her “Egg-McMuffins” for breakfast.
I’ll miss the way she relishes the joy of rocking my youngest to sleep at naptime, and the way both my girls crawl into her lap for a story.
I’ll miss my dad’s jokes, that I rarely get, and the way he peeks in on me when I’m writing, and it’s 12:00 at night, and we’re the only ones still awake.
I will miss all of these things and a million more besides. But when I saw those Christmas trees, and my daughters’ joy, I knew what I would miss most: The love, the laughter, the warmth, and the beauty that fills my home when mom and dad are here.
At this time of year, I love to look back and remember what Christmas was like as a child. And it isn’t the presents, the parties, or the visits to Santa that I remember most. It’s the way our house felt, and looked, and smelled at Christmas.
It’s baking cookies with my mom or shopping with my dad. (My dad has a tradition of waiting until Christmas Eve to do his shopping and I almost always got to go with him.)
It’s making funky looking ornaments to hang on the tree or the taste of sausage balls and hot spiced tea.
It’s the smell of cinnamon in the air and the way my mom made our Christmas tree sparkle. (No one, and I mean, NO ONE, can decorate a tree quite like my mom!)
And with these memories comes a realization that hits like a hard ball of snow; this leaving that’s coming in January, it’s just a warm up for the leaving that will someday take place.
It’s a sobering thought, I know, but it makes this moment, this Christmas, this here and now with them, with my family, with our home, that much more precious, that much more sweet. Because it’s what happens now, that will hold me together then. It’s the love, the laughter, the warmth, and beauty of today that will comfort me tomorrow.
I can’t change the leaving but I can make the most of what I have today. And today I have them.
And when that day comes, in January, or another cold day when I find myself an orphan on this earth what I’ll miss the most will be the same.
I’ll miss the love, the laughter, the warmth, and the beauty that have filled my home, my heart, my life.
I’ll miss the love of a family, a mom and dad, that have made all my days feel like Christmas.