A Christmas story from long ago.

Stop and think about how much you have to be thankful for.

Reposting: A dad’s last Christmas. My mom wrote this. She was born and raised on Dry Road.

My mother wrote this for her brother around 2003 when he was in his 70’s. It is a true story. Merry Christmas 🎄

A Christmas Story for R.C.
By Tootsie

When I was a very young girl my greatest anticipation was the coming of Christmas.

I didn’t anticipate toys for we seldom got toys or gifts. I took it for granted Santa could not get down our little thin chimney. And usually in my deepest heart I knew I hadn’t always been a good little girl.

I anticipated the Christmas tree. Our decorations weren’t great. Some cotton balls dabbed here and there, some faded paper ropes; a few silver icicles from carefully cut tobacco cans.

The wondrous thing was the tiny white candles in clip-on holders. We could only light them for a few minutes because momma was afraid of fire and we had to hoard the tiny candles for another year.

But those beautiful, flickering flames, combined with the quiet calm of the night created a sense of holiness and peace. I searched the night sky for a glimpse of that one bright star that spoke of the birth of a tiny baby.

Sometime later Daddy had taken me with him to see Uncle Cleve, Aunt Luna and Muriel. That was a special treat because they were special. A bad storm turned the bright day into slashing rain, thunder and lightning. Daddy said he had to go home but could not take me because the storm was too bad. You see, we walked the miles to visit, we had to walk the miles back. He couldn’t carry me. Daddy was sick but I didn’t understand that.

I clung to him. I grabbed his legs. I begged Daddy to take me home with him. I cried, I crawled after him, but he had to go.
I ran upstairs. I ran from window to window screaming for him to come back and take me with him.

Uncle Cleve was paralyzed from the waist down but between them they finally got me to come downstairs. I was still crying but I cried without hope.

Uncle Cleve rolled his wheelchair close to me; picked me up and talked to me for a while. Then he told Muriel to go get a box of Christmas ornaments. He wanted me to see them.
When he opened the box, it was as if flames of color exploded into my burning eyes.

Wonder of wonders he told me I could have an ornament for my own. I looked and looked and looked at the beautiful things before me. I finally selected a round, shiny, red ornament with white design. I was in awe of such a gift. It was proudly placed on our tree each Christmas.

Then I was 10 years old. Daddy was not able to get out of bed. Christmas came closer and closer. We had no tree. My sisters weren’t into Christmas decorating and the clean up afterwards. I kept begging Mama until one afternoon she got an axe and we walked until we found a tree we liked. She quickly cut it down.

She stopped for a few minutes and said “Tootsie, let’s get your daddy a tree. We’ll put it beside his bed. He can see it even if he can’t get up to see the big one.”

We walked home in the gray, cold day. She pulled the big tree. I probably pulled the small one.

We put the big tree up. Then Mama put Daddy’s tree beside his bed. We had to divide our decorations. The trees looked a bit naked.

Then I picked up my red ornament and walked to the big tree. Mama stopped me.

“Why don’t you put it on your daddy’s tree”, she asked. “He would like to see your decoration again this year.”
Some small voice inside me said no. After all it was only for me.

But I looked at my Daddy, once so strong, now so weak.
I put the ornament on his tree. I sat beside him until Mama lit the oil lamp. It was supper time.

Daddy went home less than a year later. Our home was empty. I was desolate.

The red ornament survived until a fire destroyed our house and everything in it when I was sixteen.

And that is my Christmas story for R.C. The miracle of life here on earth. The miracle awaiting us as we follow after that tiny Christmas baby.

The miracle of love from those around us.
The circle of love of family and the red ornament that glowed the night of Daddy’s last Christmas.

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