I remember my parents let the youngest brother and I have a real Christmas tree in our room. Every week before Christmas, my mom would put a little gift under our tree to open, and we were sworn to secrecy not to tell the two older brothers.(Secret revealed)
My most memorable times were sleeping in the living room, gazing at the Christmas lights, and anticipating the morning to come. And while the morning brought Christmas gifts and hot cinnamon rolls, I waited patiently as my dad opened his bible and read the story about the birth of a king; not failing to mention that the only gift to last, would be the one God gave.
This time of year also seems to ignite so many memories worth forgetting; my bratty attitude, all the clean up Christmas morning required, cold showers, and being the youngest, I was last in line. All the while, family was coming, moms hair wasn't curled, and all hell would break loose for those without a shower.
During my teens were always a challenge when Dad and Mom failed the gift of Guess jeans, a white pair of Keds, or the Esprit bag that everyone seemed to have. Or the time I ran to my room and cried hysterically because I knew my friends were getting more than i did. Oh how absorbed I was.
However, some memories are easier on the mind to forget, yet much richer in value to remember. Seven years ago today, my dad went to be with Jesus. I will never forget the house decorated so gently in Christmas cheer, all the while my heart gently broke as this man, that God fully trusted to lead this family, was breaking free into a new place. Although Christmas would never be the same, I knew my dad was free, he was healed, and he was dancing with the angels.
My dad was amazing, and he and my mom paved the path for us kids. He knew just what to say, and when to say it. He knew how to love, and give tough love. Gentle was his gift.
He could take a stand, but not be noticed. He could fail miserably, but not be noticed. He was graceful, faithful, patient, and self controlled.
While I miss him terribly, this time of year reminds me that my dad has his full reward; he is safe, and his joy knows no bounds.
This time of year, I remember my dad.