To say that this Christmas didn’t go to plan is an understatement, yesterday we found out that money we had planned to use for several needed things including getting me an easier to work cell phone with a local number for when doctor appointments. Etc come up wasn’t there anymore. Since doctors appointments and discussions with insurance people are imminent with the coming New Year, being without a -phone meant an extra layer of difficulty, I mean Google Voice only goes so far.
Enter my younger sister who has been the super hero of my life, or so it seems. I originally asked for her help buying a basic phone and her immediate reaction was.” WHY do you not have a smart phone? With all the apps those things are meant to make the lives of people like you easier. For the clarification of anyone who might be new to the blog “people like you” means people who live with disabilities. Next thing I know she says that I should have a phone in 3 to 5 days. This is my sister the super hero I meant to get her a Christmas present but I wasn’t able to get it in time and I don’t think anything I could buy would be worthy of her. I love you Morgan.
If you ask my parents to put a label to there beliefs my dad usually says he is agnostic while my mother says universalist Unitarian, which in a nutshell says that no one faith has all the answers and that everyone search for their personal truth is valid. Some people may say that growing up and such a home couldn’t possibly have sent clear messages about right and wrong or provided much of a moral compass. The fact that some people who know me actually think this just goes to show you they weren’t paying very much attention. Our family has always celebrated Christmas admittedly more as a secular holiday than a religious one (much to my grandma’s annoyance I’m sure) but starting around Thanksgiving my parents called us to say Merry Christmas or happy Hanukkah if we ran into people we knew were either Christian or Jewish and Happy Holidays if we didn’t know a person’s particular preference still wished to be friendly.
One of the things that bothers me a lot this time of year is some peoples reluctance to acknowledge any holiday other than those they personally believe it. I especially think this is silly during the Christmas/Chanukah/Yule season since all of the aforementioned holidays focus on sacrifice and are meant to encourage cooperation and fellowship during dark or difficult times. Most of the holidays this time of year are meant to foster a sense of community so let’s just stop the bickering and enjoy the fact that we are all still on this planet.
So the closing of the year is upon us. Christmas has come and gone once again. This year has had its share of tears for many people, myself included. Occasionally you run into divider moments, events which lead to a person thereafter marking time as life “before” a particular event and “after” it. For me it has been one of those years. Life will never be quite the same again. Fortunately this year has brought with it happy changes to balance the sad ones.I’m still not quite certain why my life decided to take a 360 turn from where it was to wear it is but I’m glad it did. Our relationship model doesn’t make sense to most people and it doesn’t have to. Within the last year I have grown so much as a person that I almost don’t recognize my previous self. It may sound cliched but it’s true. I have a wonderful man and woman in my life and would not trade the for the world. Looking forward to a new year I hope everybody laughs more than they cry and makes an effort to take the time to pay it forward when good fortune comes their way.
I did grow up believing in Santa Claus after a fashion. My sister and I had pictures taken with him at the mall several times. However, by the time I was 10 I was almost certain that it was dad who ate the milk and cookies because they were often replaced with this special edition Oreo Christmas tins which coincidentally were sold at the grocery store dad worked for at the time. My parents have always stressed that giving of yourself, whether it be through a thoughtful gift or a caring action is the most important thing about the holidays.
I remember one Christmas when a neighbor across the street from us got burglarized the night after they had finished all of their shopping. The burglar took all of the presents, every last one of them. With less than a week before Christmas and all of their gift budget gone there wasn’t time or money to replace anything. Their four-year-old son would not have Christmas presents that year.
Unbeknownst to our friend my dad started to make phone calls and several mutual friends of ours stepped up in an effort to thwart the Grinch. The day before Christmas Eve our neighbor called. Someone had broken into their house but this time had left stuff… Wrapped presents of all things! Dad hung up the phone with a suspiciously satisfied smile.
When I was old enough to realize the truth about Santa and saving the Greens Christmas that year I wasn’t upset. I didn’t feel cheated, wronged, or lied to. I grew up knowing the historical background and so it was obvious to me that St. Nicholas had died a long time before I was born and when I pointed out this logic to my friends they told me something I will never forget. This spirit of Santa Claus has been around far longer than St. Nicholas or even Christianity. Santa Claus is the visual representation of the spirit of giving. More accurately, the spirit of giving without expectation, for no other reason than to be kind and thoughtful. I know what I will do my children if and when they ask about Santa. A gift does not have to be a physical material they and Christmas is not only for December. Anything that is given to or done for another person with a glad heart is a gift given in the spirit of Santa Claus and because you can choose to give such a gift at any time of the year every day had the potential to be Christmas for someone.
The woman I’m with is the jewel of my life, We have been through hell and back and then all over again. I have been a really ssucky girlfriend and a rough excuse for a friend at times. I deserve her in my life about as much as much I deserve to win the lottery which is to say not much in my opinion. She is a beautiful, amazing, who I will strive to show how much I care.
Well you know what they say about good intentions. They also say better late than never so I’m going to go with that one. In my defense, if I only need one, we have been preparing to drive Little Man in the local Christmas parade. The idea is more than a little intimidating because I’ve never done it before but it should be fun. We plan on taking pictures which I will of course post here in case anybody wants to see them. Just for clarifications sake Little Man is a horse and if you look at my “Important Things” page there is a picture.
I think my favorite non electronic item are blankets. I have many and I never go on a long trip without one. Just call me Linus. Yes people have actually made reference to the Peanuts character and I take no offense. I have poor circulation because of my disability so it is not uncommon to see me with a blanket even in the warmer months. There is also the added benefit that a blanket keeps a lot of the summer insects off me. When I thought about it I realized that my blanket collecting started because of a single Christmas gift., one I never expected.The year I was eleven my mom met a retired RN named Nancy. Nancy was the first Seventh Day Adventist I had ever met and she was also the only person I knew who ate only two main meals a day instead of three. She was the first vegetarian I’d met as well as the first parent of our acquaintance who home schooled her adopted daughter and foster children, all of whom had various disabilities. Nancy also ran a summer day camp for disabled children and adults and every year she held a camp Christmas party where everyone got a gift. That year I received a lap blanket with horses on it, on the underside of one corner I found a patch with the words, “handmade with love,” I cried, just a little.
That blanket is 16 years old this Christmas . It has been washed and dried numerous times. It has comforted sick and dying animals in our house as well as welcomed new life in between serving its original purpose of keeping my legs warm . The only difference from when I first got is the underside has gone nubby from many washings. The “handmade” patch is still there and in spite of 16 years of every day use it has not once suffered the indignity of a tear.
I plan on leaving it to my children or a niece or nephew one day. The great thing about love is that it compounds so that person that comes in contact with an object that has been passed down adds a little of themselves and a little more love.