‘‘Twas the night before Christmas”

As I sit here and reminisce on the past as a kid at Christmas, I remember all the great things we did and I smile. Of course it’s not the same now having 2 beautiful girls of my own. Traditions change, new memories are made. Although one tradition I have kept is reading the same book “The night before Christmas” that my parents read to me on my first Christmas. The rule was, when I have my first kid I read it to him or her. When my oldest has her first boy or girl. She will do the same.

I love reading “the book” (as we called it growing up) to them. I hope every year that I don’t start tearing up when I read it, and every year I don’t. My girls either ask a question about it or talk about Santa… it’s always something that gets me distracted. Quick story: My mom always read the book to us, so the first year after she passed we were like, ” man reading the book this year is gonna be hard” We get to Christmas Eve in 2000. My dad started to read and he messes up reading the book so bad that we were hysterically laughing. Like laughing so hard we were crying. We eventually got through it but my dad took forever. He couldn’t even keep reading cause we were laughing so hard. I wound up finishing it.

My mom was so animated when she read it, that it must have been so awkward for my dad. But what a great story to always remember. These are the stories that help me get through. These are the goodgrievings that help me get through the sad times. So on this Christmas Eve if you are sad and your heart hurts like mine has a few times today, think of a happy times that you had with the loved one that passed. I hope that it makes you smile and maybe laugh. Remember that they are with you, even if you aren’t open to it.

Merry Christmas my friends. Thank you for being who you are!

My soul is happy

I just wanted to say thank you for all the support I have received over the past year and half. I have met so many cool people on social media and that continues to grow.

Quick story: This lady came to my store last week, she was wanting to print some Christmas cards. She was asking me how it works so I started to help her. She picked a design and then I helped her add a photo to the card. The picture was of her dog, that I found out she adopted 8 years ago. She said this is the first year my husband and I aren’t on a Christmas card. You see her husband had passed away in September while they were evacuated from the hurricane. I continued to help as she started talking about him and how they were together for a long time. I don’t know what is it about my being, but others seem to know I’m a great listener when it comes to taking about grief and loved ones passing on. And these people don’t even know me 🤔. We kept chatting as I was helping her and I mentioned my mom passed away and she says “O so, you know” I responded, yes I do know, and I’m sorry that you have to deal with this now. I could see her day was a little brighter just by talking to me and of course because her Christmas cards came out so well. We finished our convo and she was ever so grateful for my help. She kept saying “thank you”. I gave her cards and shook her hand. I told her have a Merry Christmas and enjoy as much as you can.

I was meant to start doing all of this. The blog, the twitter, the podcast, thank you @soulgabashjazz. My first interview, thank you @chriswick_. So Grateful!

Faith and grieving

I was on Twitter this morning.  I read a tweet that asked,  If you have  stronger faith, does that make the grieving process easier?   I’m sure this question will get plenty of different responses. The answer for me though is No. It didn’t make it easier for me because even though I had been involved in the church growing up, I felt GOD had let me down by taking my Mom away from me. Even after all I did and believed in.  Some people think of faith as not only in God, but faith in themselves to do things with their life. Or faith that they can do crazy things like move cross-country twice =)

I grew up going to church every Sunday at 9am.  My sister and I  went to the same catholic school from kindergarten to 8th grade. We also both went to same catholic high school our mom went to.  My parents were a big part of the church, As they went on retreats and volunteered for almost everything. My sister and I did all the sacraments, and Sunday school. My families faith in God was real and it seemed like nothing could break it. When we got older and I went into High School we stopped going to church all the time. This didn’t mean our faith in the church, God and each other wasn’t still there.  We grew away from the every Sunday mass. I still used to go by myself, since the church that was apart of my HS was down the block from our old house.

My first ever job was working in the church on Sunday mornings. I used to set up for all 4 services. I made sure the priest’s garments were out and all the things were lined up. Even though I got paid for it, I felt there was more, I even thought about becoming a priest while working there. I was 17 and had no clue what I wanted to do with my life yet.  I was going to school, playing basketball, working on Sundays and doing homework.   I kept working in the church until I graduated from high school.  8 months after that is when my MOM died.  My faith hit rock bottom.  I was obviously angry at first, I was angry at GOD for taking my Mom from me.  Maybe it was because I was young when it happened and I didn’t know any better. Maybe my faith wasn’t as strong as I thought it was. You are probably asking yourself, Why be mad at God?  He is the one you should turn to in times like this, and not be mad at him.  It took me a long time to understand that you can’t be mad at God for taking a loved one from you, even though that is what makes most sense at that time. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some days I have anger about this. In those times I remind myself that I might not be where I am today if my mom was still here. I might not be the man I am today if it wasn’t for this tragedy. Had I been older when my mom passed, maybe my answer to the question above would have been yes. I still do have faith in God, even though I haven’t been in a catholic church since my sister passed almost 10 yrs ago.

I would love to hear what your answer would be to the question above and why. Send me a message and let me know. I want to thank  @maryanne_pope  her site is thepinkgazelle.com  for the inspiration on this post.  I absolutely love what she posts to her feed and love her site.