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Memory lane

December 24, 2010

My favorite part of the holidays is the time we spend with our family members. In years past I would get so stressed out about making sure that we had enough time with each family. My mom always worked retail (in different optical centers, but it was still considered retail) and got quite jaded about the Christmas season. Something about seeing people all crazed over spending money of “things” just rubbed her the wrong way. I can’t say I blame her in the least, though. Three years removed from retail and I still don’t think mom really enjoys the Christmas season. She’s never been big on “things” to begin with and maybe I’ve finally come to peace with that.

As an only child and one that often had to split holidays with my mom and father, who divorced when I was very young, I hate thinking that my mom will be alone on a holiday. It’s hard for me to believe her when she says that she’s okay, it’s not the end of the world and it’s just another day; any time that we are home to visit it’s Christmas Day. Besides, she’s “always got God in her pocket”. I love it.

The thing that is the most important to mom is the time that we spend with her. Not a big shock, as any parent that is away from their children 90% of the year would want nothing more than a dinner, a movie, or just some quality time chatting and catching up.

After dinner Monday night we were all set to play a card game at the table when we saw that Gramps was watching a DVD that my uncle had recently made of all the old 8mm films that they had taken back in the day. Talk about a trip down memory lane!

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Mom with her childhood dog, Lucky

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Uncle Bob at their old house in Miami

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It was amazing to watch the scenes of family vacations to Uncle Cluck’s house in Pennsylvania during the summer time, mom and Uncle Bob’s high school graduations, my Grandparent’s 25th anniversary trip to Italy, a cruise, my Gramp’s trip to Puerto Rico for Eastern Airlines, and his retirement celebration. It was also neat to see that the grandkids were included in some of the footage, 1st – 3rd birthday parties for me and my cousin Rachel, 1st – 2nd birthday parties for my cousin Michelle, sneak peaks of Sean as a little one and my First Holy Communion.

I think my favorite part of the whole thing was watching my mom and Gramps see and talk about those events like it was yesterday. Missing many of the people who passed away years ago, especially my Gram. Oh my, she was beautiful.

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It was wonderful seeing her in her youth, long before the thought of old age and Alzheimer’s would come to claim both her and her twin sister, Dorothy.

We always talk about the importance of family but that night I really got it.

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So this Holiday Season, try to take a step back from the presents, the big tree and the stress of it all and enjoy the time that you have with your loved ones.

What are some of your favorite holiday memories? Do you have any favorites this holiday season?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2010 9:45 am

    Yes, your grandmother was VERY beautiful. Just think, that photo didn’t have any airbrushing on it, either! What a great way to spend an evening.

    • December 26, 2010 9:49 am

      Thanks, Sharon 🙂 It was a lot of fun! I was telling Carl the other day that we need to invest in a camcorder/flip video, especially when we have kids!

  2. December 26, 2010 8:12 pm

    You look so much like your beautiful Gram in that old photo. You have her merry eyes!

  3. December 27, 2010 1:28 pm

    WOW! Seems like we experience the same feelings this year around Christmas. My Grandfather passed away on the 16th and it really caused me to take a step back and look around. I can honestly say that this was the best Christmas of my life. I smiled more than ever and enjoyed every second. We actually bought a little “flip video” type camera and actually used it this year to capture some memories. I also close to 500 pictures during the past 5 days. It was definitely different than any other year.

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