(c) Vickey Stamps – December 7, 2015 –
It was the season of Christmas and the days grew closer, shorter somehow, and the old woman wondered why it was that the older she was, the faster another day came, and how uncertain her life with its health issues became as well. It was an uncertain time.
Now in her mind she stepped into the past, and heard as if yesterday the children’s laughter, the jumping and running feet, and in her soul she lived their excitement as if she were a child once more. Wait! Of a sudden the years had passed and their faces had changed, their legs further from the ground, their mannerisms different, their dependence on her to show them life’s directions not so needed anymore. She, while being needed, was not so so much needed now. Now they had their own lives, made their own decisions, some had children, some chose another path. Calls home came few and far between.
Back to the present she returned, wiping away a tear (Where had it come from?) that made its way down the lines that had appeared almost like a magic thing upon her face, her hair more silver or gray then it ever had been before. She checked her image in the mirror to see if it reflected a change from yesterday. She made a smile to ward off wrinkles that might feel invited to stap upon the image of her, that looked back at her once more. She knew she was making more of life then she should, but she did have what some might call her selfish moments. She’d walk off the self-pity. That’s what she needed to do. The snow was upon the walkways, but if she was careful, she’d manage okay. She’d bring her cane ….just in case. Off she went.
The snow returned but it was a light snow and seemed to kiss her cheeks as she walked, bundled up, coat of heavy wool with scarf and gloves in place. She felt young and brave and had passersby taken time to look upon her as they passed her, bundles of Christmas gifts in their arms and bags, they’d of seen and perhaps smiled at her, as she stuck out a tongue to catch the snowdrops as she’d done so many years ago. She laughed to herself at her foolishness .
She stopped to watch several children lined up and waiting to sit upon a department store Santa’s lap. She slipped near enough for a few moments to overhear their requests. Their came one child to tell of his mother who had been very sick and could Santa make her well? The child didn’t care if presents came or not, only that the mother be made well, and could he tell Jesus all about it. He already had, but he figured the more voices aimed that direction, the better his mothers chances would be . Santa had grown very quiet for a moment, then hugged the child and saying “I sure will, and I’ll ask all my elf’s to please do the same!” Again, an unexpected tear made its way down the crevice of wrinkles upon her face. Beside her, a man and his wife gathered near, the woman patting her back, tears in her own eyes. “Mam, come with us and have a cup of tea or coffee. We’d really love to share your company. They had gone to the little café next door.
What a wonderful visit it had been. George and Betsy were such fine people. They’d taken an interest in her, and finding that all her children were far away and she would be alone that special day of Christ’s birth, would she help them by coming to their home Christmas eve. Maybe she could stay the night. “You see”, they said, “”we have three little ones and they have no grandparents anymore. It would help them and us as well, if you could be there. You’d be like an honorary grandmother. We could go to the special church even and hear the choir singing the Christmas music.”
She’d be happy to go. She’d leave a message on her phone for her children, in case they decided to call where she could be reached. What fun it would be, not to be alone. Arrangements made, she shook hands with the couple, and light of heart, she continued into her day.
She’d stop off at the Salvation army. Maybe they could use another donation to help out, and the Toys For Christmas temporary center always needed help wrapping the gifts. She loved to gift wrap. She’d heard of an awesome Nativity scene the city had allowed to stay in view, despite the changing politics of what was correct and what was not.
Now she stood and perhaps this person or that one,stopped for a moment to wonder at the old woman seeming to talk to herself in front of a Nativity scene.
“Well baby Jesus, I had to go out of my way to find you here, but I’m sure it was worth the trip. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself and I came to apologize for that. I know how busy life can get and really do understand my family has other things in their life besides me. Thanks for the gift of them, for the other gifts of family and friends. Thanks for George and Betsy and the children I’ll get to see at Christmas. They are all blessings and even when I don’t always remember to say thank you, I do appreciate it.”
Having said so, she blew a kiss to the display before her, a smile upon her face and the closest she could get to having a ‘skip in her step; she began her trip home. As she went her way, she’d remember the child’s mother. She’d remember every day and on Christmas, thank the Lord for the answer to prayer… and those for her own family and friends as well.
God bless us all. Merry CHRISTmas to all.
LIFE IS GOOD