Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy 80th Birthday to My Sweet Daddy

Dear Sweet Daddy,

I am sending this with much love and hoping that your party will be a wonderful celebration of your birth. I am sorry that I won’t be there to celebrate with you on the day, but am thankful that we will be there just a few days afterwards to celebrate with you. Enjoy your party!

I have spent a great deal of time pondering what to say to you in this letter. A letter to be put in a memory book for everyone to read. Many, many things come to mind, but have already been written up in blog posts or in the book I did for you in 2009. Or they are simply too personal to put in a letter for all to see.

The thing that continues to come to mind is simply I love you. I hope that you know how much I love you. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t simply love My Sweet Daddy. I’m not sure if I love you more than any daughter ever loved her Daddy, although I have said for years that I am the self-proclaimed Queen of Daddy’s Girls. I only know that I have loved you as long as I can remember and as best I know how.

You have been such a place of earthly comfort and strength to me. As a small child, anything I imagined to be dangerous to me was held at bay when you were close by. I had a fast-held justified true belief that if My Sweet Daddy were near, nothing could harm me. As I grew older and became a little more aware of what danger really was, I still had a sense of well-being when you were close by. My belief grew from knowing that nothing would harm me if you were near to knowing that within your power, you would help keep me from harm if I acted prudently. Even older, when I brought my broken heart to you, you offered comfort and safety and I believe your heart broke along with mine. I took comfort from your care and concern and with courage and perhaps a little craziness dared to love again.

I love you for so many, many reasons. But the one I hold highest above all is the one I believe you would care for the most. And that is this: You lived your life in such a way that you pointed me to One dearer than even my own Sweet Daddy. You led me to a Heavenly Father, with whom I was very comfortable, thanks to the strong concept of Father that I learned from you. Thanks to your life, teaching and witness, I participate in Life Eternal that began all those years ago when you led me to know not only God the Father, but to accept God the Son.

I end with this. Simply one phrase, one solitary phrase that doesn’t say nearly what I want it to say, but also says it all. I love you Daddy!

Your Baby Girl,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Tacky Treasures

Seriously...who played the trick with my calendar and all the sudden, its December 2? And why didn't somebody warn me that December would come immediately after November this year? Whose job was that? Has it always been this way and I just didn't notice?

I guess it doesn't matter that I was too busy basking in my Thanksgiving glow to notice. Reality set in and hit me between the eyeballs tonight when I went realized that my neighbors, The Griswalds, had turned on their Christmas lights. I don't have to turn the kitchen lights on at night until after the first of the year. Their Christmas display light up my kitchen from 3 houses down.

Actually, I was somewhat aware of the date and had stopped by our storage facility to pick up some of the Christmas tubs on the way home. It will take several trips to get it all, and then there is the stuff in the attic, and the stuff stashed under the guest room bed...I have lots of Christmas decorations. It takes me several days to get it all unpacked and properly placed. And I don't even decorate the outside. I don't have to. Really, The Griswalds do such a great job of lighting the neighborhood. Why bother?

On our way home from grabbing some fast food for dinner, I had a discussion with Rocket Man about Christmas. Frankly, he isn't the biggest fan of the season. He doesn't like all the fuss and comercialism that tries to overtake the season. He also doesn't care for the way people misbehave during the holidays. Neither of us are fans of what we have dubbed the "North Alabama Holiday Greeting" that we seem to get from fellow drivers in traffic this time of the year. Maybe they have this custom where you live. They point their middle finger at you while wishing you a Merry Christmas. At least, I think that is what they are saying as they pass me, pull in front of me, cut me off or take the parking spot I was just about to pull into. I'm never quite sure.

Anyway...I should also tell you that while Rocket Man occasionaly has a Scrooge attitude, he is one of the most generous humans I have ever known, especially at Christmas. So, I humor him when he's growling, "Humbug" and remind him to smile and say, "Peace on Earth!"

I wasn't playing Christmas Music at a bazillion decibles when I started digging into the tubs, because he seemed just a bit more not into the Christmas Spirit than he normally is. And I completely understand. The economy is bad, he continues to try to find work to keep his people employed and he had been up with me the past 2 nights tending to me while I was running a fever and coughing up a lung. He's earned the right to be a bit grumpy as far as I'm concerned.

I refrained from asking him if he wanted to help me unpack all the treasures. I wandered off by myself and opened the first tub.
There they were.

My choir children. The tackiest Christmas decorations you ever did see. They were my Neenie's and they have rhinestone eyes. She bought 3 of them when I was little, one for me and one for each of my big brothers. They were all blonde, so she painted the hair on two of them a brownish color, because we weren't all blonde. In fact, she always said that the painted ones were the boys and the blonde was me. Actually, I'm the non-blonde in the family.

Anyway, one of them lost its head a long time ago and she glued it back on. Only, she didn't glue it exactly right, so the head is a bit crooked. And the glue has turned brown on the poor choristers neck. But, he keeps that lovely rounded "o" mouth and I'm sure his pitch and diction are still perfect, even though he has had his head knocked off and glued back on. Of all the Christmas decorations I have (and like I said, I have a lot) these are sure to bring a tear to my eye every year.

You see. they bring back such precious memories of Christmas Past. Of snow and Baby Jesus in the Manger and flannel pajamas and the anticipation of our family reading the Christmas Story from Luke (in the King letter edition) before we had a prayer and opened our Christmas presents, and my favorite Christmas books, "Davey's First Christmas" and "The Littlest Angel" and divinity and fudge and rice krispie treats and Christmas Carols, and family and friends and all the things that made our Christmas celebrations so wonderful to me when I was a small child. So I place them properly in a place of honor in my living room. Not the family room where we spend our time, but in the old fashioned living room where there are things that could get broken and portraits of Rocket Man's grandparents hanging on the wall, staring down on me whenever I walk through the room.

By the should hear Rocket Man scoff at that term - properly placed- the bad time he gives me about it...properly placed, indeed! Heaven forbid that any of the Christmas decorations be improperly placed!! (laugh, poke Molli, snicker and snort)

See...I told you they were tacky. But I sure do treasure them!