This Christmas was a little rough.
Not only was I (and I still am) concerned about what’s going on in the political world – reduction of healthcare, tax scams, rolling back regulations intended to protect our environment, along with a President who could send my family’s military members into a nuclear war at any moment, all on top of managing the holidays.
The kids are older. They have jobs. They have mixed schedules. They’re tired. They let me know.
Planning family time becomes more difficult. The excitement of early childhood is gone and it’s been replaced with a semi-sense of adulthood, you know, I’m too mature to get excited about waking up early on Christmas morning – that sort of thing.
And then there was the realization that orphans, even adult orphans do not get to share Christmas with their parents.
When my dad died, my mother asked us to remove his clothing from her apartment. We bagged all of his clothes and boxed his shoes. Mom kept a favorite sweater and a fleece coat that my dad wore, and the rest went to charity.
Except for a few work shirts, sweatshirts, and a sweater that I set aside. For me.
Maybe it’s morbid that I wear them, but I do. Not often, but occasionally. They remind me of summer days in the boat with my family, of my dad mowing our lawn, and working on our brick patio on the weekends. Of vacations at a beach cottage.
On a morning right before Christmas when I was feeling particularly down, I reached for one of Dad’s shirts. Why not? It was a nice color, worn-in and splattered with bleach spots, and it was of good quality.
I laid the shirt out on the bed so that I could pull it over my head – and for the first time I noticed this heart-shaped bleach spot on the back.
I’m a believer in messages and signs.
This was a big one.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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