Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Thoughts From my Snowmen Collection
Take my snowman cookie jar, for example. It was a gift from my ex-mother-in-law the first Christmas we were no longer related by marriage, but were "adopted by the heart", as she so tearfully stated. Marie and I were as close as mother and daughter. When she fell and broke her hip, I moved in with her for two months to care for her until she was more mobile. I put drops in her eye for two weeks after her cataract surgery. She helped take care of my broken heart and taught me the value of deep, abiding love. She passed away a year ago and I don't glance at that cookie jar without seeing her warm, smiling face.
One year, my children's second mom gifted me with a trio of snowmen she'd crocheted. Few women are able to make friends with their ex-husband's new wife. But Margie was good to my children and they came to care for her. How could I not respond to that? I no longer had to worry about how they were being treated by the "other" woman during visits with their dad, but could relax knowing Margie made them feel at home. When she passed away with lung cancer, we all grieved. She taught me the value of caring for everyone's child.
My grandson, Ryan, joyfully brought me a box haphazardly wrapped and taped with long strips of tape. Inside the shoe box were two snowmen mugs and a box of hot chocolate mix. "For when I come, grandma. We can have hot choc-OH-latte in our 'berry' special mugs." We drank from them in April, June, October. The month didn't matter, the memories did. My grandson is fifteen now and these are still referred to as "Ryan and Grandma mugs." Children need special connections...so do adults.
I was too busy with writing and promotion to drag out all my snowmen this year, but the ones I mentioned above I did, along with a few others I love because of the memories associated with them. It is the memories that warm our hearts as we age--not things. Make memories, my lovelies. Store them in the folds of your heart and on days when you feel blue, take them out and revisit them. Merry Christmas and may you look forward to a healthy and productive 2014.