Christmas Morning at the Postmas
It's so quiet.
Greg's sleeping off his cold, Andy's at his girlfriend's, Keith always sleeps late (except yesterday when presents were calling to him to be opened), and my boys are with their father.
The smell of the baking ham (for the Postma gathering this aft.) has gotten into every room. I have a craving for waffles and bacon now.
Just last night I mentioned in a post to Lynn how I was missing music (my latest favorite Christmas tape died in the player yesterday). Lo and behold a special with Judy Collins was on cable this morning. I sat listening to it and got nostalgic. When I heard Judy sing hymns we used to sing in church at Christmas time, I'd think of my Dad across from us (the choir women faced the men on opposite sides of the altar) -- and remembered how he was not always "on his feet." If it was an evening service, he'd be swaying a little from the drinks he'd already had. If it was a morning service, he'd be REALLY cranky from the hangover and we'd be afraid to say the wrong thing to make him mad.
In both cases, the words to the hymns sometimes escaped him, and I'd be embarassed for him. But, I'd then remember his determination to work hard and do the right thing by us. I remembered that his mother died when he was seven and the stories of living in garages during the depression and his nasty Swedish uncles railing on Dad, his brother, Einar, and cousin, Bernie. My Dad was a good man -- just frustrated/angry at his life's rough turns.
When Greg and I got married 6 years ago, we got Dad out of the nursing home and had my cousin, Jill (coincidence in names!), who's a nurse, sit with him in case he had a seizure. Jill is Bernie's daughter. The ceremony was in my grandparents' (maternal) old house that we had just sold and would be leaving forever that day. We had only family there for the ceremony (small house). I left some old family portraits/photos on the wall so the room wouldn't seem so empty.
Dad died the following June.
By the time Judy sang "Amazing Grace" this morning, the tears were flowing. I remembered the times this song touched me in my life. So, these were not tears of sad or regret, but a gift of feeling/caring/nostalgia for those in my life that taught and touched me.
I cannot find anything to feel sorry for this morning. I had a father and mother. We had a home. I had two brothers. One is estranged, one is my close friend and has brought a loving sister into our family with his wife, Jaci. The boys are all growing and USUALLY seem to be heading into responsible waters on the ships they've chosen for their voyages through life. Last Christmas Andy was estranged and now he's back. Last Christmas we nearly lost the house from debt and now we're climbing out of that debt.
Early in the year, we left Websocs and now we've all found each other and grown together more in this year.
This year I lost my job, but yesterday got a general letter of recommendation from the Vice President from there that I can use to send with resumes. I don't recognize the person he's writing about, but his praise and recognition of my work there has helped heal the gaping hole of self-doubt sown by my former boss (who reported to this VP) in that job.
I had a marriage that I can best describe as failed. Because of my parents' multiple divorces (2 each, so 3 marriages each), I had been determined NOT to put my boys through divorce. So, I felt that I failed when divorce became the only option. Now the boys are fine, with no recrimination.
And I've come to share my life with Greg. What a good man. What good fortune to have this friend and lover! You've witnessed his humor, his reason and strong belief in justice, his concern/care for others, and his open mind and heart. He's also strong, affectionate, supportive ...etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...I'm expressing my gratitude and joy for him in my life. I don't want to embarass him by carrying on too much.
I know I get pretty silly in e-mail sometimes and sometimes I can feel pretty sad about the rough turns in our lives. And, perhaps, talk about myself too much, too. But, today, I thought I'd reach out to you and tell you of my peace and happiness and hope that you know that you can always reach out to me, too. I hope, too, that by expressing these thoughts and feelings to you, I can give you a smile, a tear of recognition, and/or a suggestion to find some peace or joy in your life.
Please wrap yourself in a hug from our hearts to yours. My heart is so awfully full today, it's spilling...
© copyright, 1999, Jill Postma