Tuesday, December 24, 2013

From Our House...To Yours...

The trials and tribulations of this past year have been almost overwhelming...but not insurmountable. You see...this Christmas season is a special one. Old traditions are morphing into new ones. Our family is is transition.  Up until this year...we always celebrated Christmas at my parents home.  My son wrote a beautiful tribute of his memories of the seasons past. It was so refreshing to see as he starts new traditions with his own young family still incorporating the old in with the new.

So many people have lost sight of the true meaning of this Christmas holiday. You don't need that perfect gift...you don't need to beat the crap out of each other while shopping...like many of us have seen tv.  Cherish your family and friends. They all won't be here forever. Don't just look at the wrappings. There's always more inside...

A baby's hug…
 
We were the only family with children in the restaurant.
I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.'
He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray.
His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared
in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.
I looked around and saw the source of his merriment.
 
It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper
at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes.
His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers wjere too short to be called a beard and his nose
was so varicose it looked like a road map.
 
We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled.. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists..
'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy.
I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.
My husband and I exchanged looks,
'What do we do?
Erik continued to laugh and answer,
'Hi.'
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us
and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance
with my beautiful baby.
 
Our meal came and the man began shouting from across
the room,
'Do ya patty cake?
Do you know peek-a-boo?
Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.
Nobody thought the old man was cute.
He was obviously drunk.
 
My husband and I were embarrassed.
We ate in silence; all except for Erik,
who was running through his repertoire
for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn,
reciprocated with his cute comments.
 
We finally got through the meal and headed for the door.
My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him
in the parking lot.
The old man sat poised between me and the door.
'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,'
I prayed.
As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back
trying to sidestep him and avoid any air
he might be breathing.
As I did, Erik leaned over my arm,
reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him,
Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.
Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship.
Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission
laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder.
The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor,
cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back.
No two beings have ever loved so deeply
for so short a time.
I stood awestruck.
The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms
and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine.
He said in a firm commanding voice,
'You take care of this baby.'
Somehow I managed,
'I will,'
from a throat that contained a stone.
 
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly,
as though he were in pain.
I received my baby, and the man said,
'God bless you, ma'am,
you've given me my Christmas gift.'
 
I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.
With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car.
My husband was wondering why I was crying
and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying,
'My God, my God, forgive me.'
I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence
of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment;
a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.
I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not..
I felt it was God asking,
'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?'
when He shared His for all eternity. 
How did God feel when he put his baby
in our arms 2000 years ago.
The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me,
'To enter the Kingdom of God ,
we must become as little children.'
 
If this has blessed you,
please bless others by sending it on.
Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us
of what is really important.
We must always remember who we are,
where we came from and, most importantly,
how we feel about others.
The clothes on your back or the car that you drive
or the house that you live in does not define you at all;
it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.
 
This one is a keeper.
 
'It is better to be liked for the true you,
than to be loved for who people think you are...'
Amen!
 
Now...from our house to yours...a beautiful Christmas cactus in full bloom...always a sign of new hope. I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS filled with love, family and friends.


5 comments:

  1. That was a simply super post Anne Marie - thanks. Wish I'd read it before Christmas, but this is still pertinent afterwards!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping in Isobel and leaving such a sweet comment.

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  2. Beautiful post! I didn't have much online time during the holidays, so I missed this at the time. I am so glad I came by to take a peek at your blog today. =0)
    Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Kim! Happy New year to you and your family.

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  3. Hi, Nice site thanks for sharing. Would it be okay to contact you through your email? Please email me back.
    Thanks!
    Randy
    randydavis387 gmail.com

    ReplyDelete