Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Look! Santa's Buttcheeks!

I arrived at my brother's house early one Christmas morning to find my nephew, Arny, waiting for me at the door. He immediately flew into my arms to give me my traditional flying hug greeting as only he could do. After my flying hug he grabbed my hand and excitedly started dragging me to the family room where all the presents were - screaming for his sister, Becca, the whole way.

My brother was in the family room building a fire and as we burst into the room Arny exclaimed, "Look Aunt Pam, Santa's buttcheeks!" I looked over at the screened glass in front of the fireplace and indeed there was a perfect imprint of Santa's rump on the glass. It was obvious that he had landed on his derriere with a great thump when he had come down the chimney the night before!

Daddy's Last Christmas (pictures)

Monday, December 19, 2011

My First Florida Christmas

We lived in one of those apartment complexes with a pool and laundry facilities and a million kids running around. The only way to tell if it is Christmas in Florida is to decorate, so for the first time in my life I put a tree up on Thanksgiving Day. Apparently that was quite a novelty because soon after I put it up, all the kids in the neighborhood started knocking on my door a hundred times a day wanting to see my tree.

I soon tired of this, especially since in my line of work afternoon naps were a necessity. So I made a deal with them. I told them that if they would all come at the same time everyday (5 o'clock) then I would let them in. To make it extra special I put candy canes on the tree everyday and let each of them have one.

This worked. Every day at 5 0'clock on the dot there would be a knock on my door. A perfect line of children would come in my house and ooohhh and aaahhh over the tree. They would each take a candy cane and then they would go home. This went on until Christmas.

It was fun.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thank You to the Union Mission

I want to thank the Union Mission for the wonderful Christmas Food Basket that they gave me. There was way too much food for me to eat alone and I have already given some out to some of the seniors in my building that I know need the food.

They had us pick up the food at a church that I had never seen. I have to say it was an absolutely beautiful church. It looked like a massive mountain lodge. They had a wonderful service with old fashioned Christmas Carols and upbeat Christian music and a short sermon. The actual giveaway was well organized and they gave out a couple hundred baskets in probably less than 1/2 an hour.

I was almost at the end of the line and I noticed that there was a lot of food left over. I tried to contact someone about delivering some of the food to the low income seniors in my building that I know need the food but have no way to get it. I spoke with 3 different people but I could tell they didn't want to be bothered with it. I am sure they thought that I was somebody that was just trying to get more than my fair share, I can't blame them for thinking that but it was certainly not the case. I used to give out government commodities a few years ago and you wouldn't believe that stories that people come up with to try to get extra food.

I still think I will try to call the mission tomorrow and see if I can talk to someone about getting some food delivered to the building. It is probably too late but, what the heck, it's only a phone call and I can handle rejection.

My Christmas Miracle

In 2001 my dad was in the hospital dying on Christmas Day.

He was in so much pain that they had him in a medically induced coma and he was still lying in the bed stiff as a board. There was blood on his lips because he was clenching his teeth so hard. He was a diabetic and he needed to have his leg amputated because of sepsis but he was too weak for the surgery and they did not know if he would make it through the day.

Needless to say I was miserable, not only was my dad dying but it was Christmas Day and Christmas would be ruined for the rest of my life!

I promised God that I would do whatever I could to help him if he would let him live.

They decided to do dialysis on Christmas Day saying that it was the absolute last thing they could try for him. Fortunately the dialysis worked and he became strong enough a couple of days later to do the surgery. Also he never had to have dialysis again which is one of the complications of having it once - being on it for the rest of your life!

Daddy became strong enough to come home with me on February 4, 2002. They told me that he had around 10 days to live. I was blessed with taking care of him for another 2 3/4 years.

He had lost around 100 lbs. during the course of his illness. When I took him home and he still didn't want to eat, I would make him delicious,appetizing foods. When he would turn them down I would sit there in front of him and eat and smack my lips and just enjoy the hell out of the meal in front of him. Usually he would lean over and peep at the plate and say "I think I'll have a little of that." I managed to put 50 lbs. back on him but I also put 50 lbs. on myself! I definitely didn't need it, but it was worth every pound.

Taking care of daddy alone was hard. I had a little help from my uncles but for the most part I took care of everything for him. I do appreciate the help that they did give me though.

There were lots of ups and downs but he eventually became well enough that he was quite happy. I told him that if he could bear with me that I might make mistakes and do a lot of things wrong but I would always do my best and never intentionally hurt him.

That is exactly what happened.