Saturday, December 31, 2016


MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS PICTURE AND WHY
Politically, my sister and I are different, but on core issues we are the same.  Equality is about access to equality, but not a result.  We must do what we must do to succeed.

In our early years to move forward we all worked two jobs.  My sister's husband worked during the day and waited tables at a high end restaurant at night.  She worked during the day while the kids were in school.  In time things changed and she worked part time and her husband had one really high paying job.  She is not sitting set for life because she sat at home.  She is set because she and her husband worked hard and were responsible.  Such as my roommate half of my brother in laws pay check went to deductions and all types of insurance, such as health, life, and disability.  They both also had their retirement, with their employer meeting their payment into their 401K.

THE CONVERSATION

Getting older means you talk more about your journey.  I was nervous, but I finally told my sister a secret I have held for years.  Mom's death made me stronger.  Had she not died when she did I never would have graduated UTEP.  In dealing with my confusion over sexuality I was really depressed.  I lived in my books, with retreats with a hand full of friends when trips were planned to New Mexico.  But had mom not died when she did, I would have gone home after a school break, gone into my old bedroom and stayed there.  I actually know people who took this path.  This is actually a major problem with many millennials.

On the way to the airport I told an older brother about the conversation.  He said the same thing.  Being raised without parents because they died at a young age, made us stronger.

We all agree, we would prefer had they lived.  Daddy would have turned a 110 this year had he lived.  Mom would be 97.

THE WHY

Her daughters each bought her a present from her late husband who passed in July.  Christmas Eve the daughters asked that I keep an eye on her Christmas morning because they were uncertain about how she would react.  It was just the two of us Christmas morning and she was all joy while opening the presents.

She attributes her strength, to mom raising 7 kids as a Hispanic widow at a time she was not liked because of her background, namely being from Nicaraguan.  She attributed her strength to mom passing while she was in her 20's thereby forcing her to learn to be a wife and mother all on her own. That strength is what gets her through the day.

For a woman who has had two cancers, and is on a medication to keep the cancer under control which causes cuts on her fingers like razor cuts, she has it under control.

 God never gives us more than we can handle.  But He leaves it up to us to find our path. If you choose to wallow in sorrow, you will never see He has you on a path which is good.

She and her daughters and grandchildren are not perfect.  They yell, then laugh.  I loved how my sister would apologize for her mistakes while raising them, and then her daughters will apologize for being teenagers as they are now raising their own teenagers.  It is all one big laugh.  But in the end, they all know they will get through it.

THE MOMENT WHICH SET THE STAGE

Oh god was I nervous about Christmas eve and Christmas morning with my sister.  This being the first Christmas without her husband.  The video below consists of 20 biodegradable dove balloons. [I cannot seem to convert a FB video without showing my nieces FB page - so no video] A niece and sister in law arranged for the the release just before the Santa event.  It was a prayer for my sister's late husband.  They all got caught in some big trees, but as we all went in the wind picked up and they all flew away.  That was it.  It was all joy from there.  Passing does not mean your love one's just give up on life, it means they live with your memory and have good times celebrating your and their life.

You know my sister says she spends an hour a day with her late husband.  She is confident he is there with her and they still talk.  It comforts her and makes each day easier.

NOW YOU KNOW WHY I LOVE THIS PICTURE

During the family prayer Christmas Eve, my sister put it on me.  So I told everyone to hold hands, when I saw them doing the tradition of putting your hands together.  I said no, we make a circle holding hands.  My prayer went some thing like this.  "God's greatest gift to his children is the love and strength of family.  The Gift gives us what we need to move forward and succeed.  In this circle, we celebrate that Gift and show our faith and love of God."

My sister is now the matriarch.  Her strength holds our circle in tact.  If you do not know this Gift, may you know it some day. 



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