Sunday, December 23, 2012
"The Christmas Party"
It's only a few days til Christmas 2012. It seems just yesterday that I was writing last year's blog while mother was living with me. I have left work today early, to come home and do a mound of baking for my family and my husband's mom who is recovering from a back surgery. I am in a bit of a hurry, since mother's "Christmas Party" at the home will begin today at 2:00 pm and I am some 4 hours away from cooking 3 roasts with gravy, a ten pound bag of potatoes, and green beans. Christmas holds a lot of meanings for different people. For me, it's the day that my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ was born. I am so thankful that I was born and raised in a home, where God was on the fore front of everything we did. As a child, every night before bed, mother, daddy and the siblings that were still at home, would gather in our living room and bow before a Mighty King...Jesus! Many times, my dad would be in his pajamas, with the leg of them pulled up as he kneeled. When he was in the Navy in World War II, during a night of regret, he had a "rooster" tattooed on his left leg. My daddy had a usual saying in his prayer of "protect and do." My sister Sue and I would giggle every time, as it sounded like "ta-tect-ta-do" as if his rooster had crowed the phrase. Life was good at the Gibson family home and my mother was the matriarch of my faith. I can see her through the years, sitting quietly, reading and studying her Bible for hours. She taught Sunday School for as many years as I can remember, sang in the choir with a beautiful alto voice and forever walked a strong and spiritual life. Just last week, a niece had visited the nursing home where mother resides. While passing through, heard someone singing Christmas Carols over everyone else. As she looked in, there was mother, remembering every word of every song,and singing louder than anyone. Several times since mother has been there, I have rolled her to a confined space and asked her to pray for me. It is an amazing thing to see someone with dementia, who can barely remember what you said five seconds prior, bowing her head and asking God for His tender mercies. My daughter Hannah has arrived home from college and is accompanying me to the home's "Annual Christmas Party." Not knowing what to expect, but imagining that there will be Christmas Carols sung, gifts handed out and treats for us all, we drive up the cove to be with mother and "Mema" for a special event. We enter through the front door and see that the residents are moving towards the large dining room. We begin to head that way as well. As I round the corner, I can see Ms. Genelle, the dietician, guarding a beautiful buffet table in the hall hosting an array of all types of Christmas goodies. Someone informs me that mother is already in the dining hall. I peek in and see the whole room is full. Standing on my tiptoes, looking for mother, I hear someone blurt out, "Where did that 'turd' come from?" Knowing that this person sounds familiar, I quickly turn my head and yes, there entered mother. I stepped over to her and begin to motion to her to be quiet, before everyone heard. I realized it was too late. If mother dares to see a glimpse of a smile on mine or anyone else's face after she's rolled something embarrassing off her demented lips, it won't be long before another one follows. Today was no different, the next thing that came out was "why, this isn't nothing but a 'manure pile in here!" Reaching frantically, I grab mother's wheel chair, and as fast as she rolled in, I roll her out, explaining to the people that I would not be attending the party and would visit with mother in the front room instead. Heading down the hall, I spy a gentleman who looks as if he is there for the same reason as me, to visit a loved one. He smiles as we pass and mother blurts out another zinger. The look on the man's face was priceless. Life has a way of writing it's own history. Today, I have come to share a memorable day with the woman who gave me life, and to celebrate the birth of the man who gave HIS life. Somehow, I can't help but think, that even Jesus got a kick out of this "Christmas Party!"