a different kind of holiday

December 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm (Uncategorized)

over the years our holidays and how we celebrate changes.  as a child we live by our families established traditions. as adults we create our own traditions or we incorporate new with the old.  if we have children then we create traditions for them and hope that they will carry them on. now in the later part of life if you have grandchildren it becomes new and yet old altogether again.  if you are living with dying it is another kind of holiday.

as a child i had two very different realities. one with my grandmother who in my younger years didn’t really observe christmas since we were just so poor.  nuts and fruit were a treat we enjoyed during the holidays.  when things were a bit better ham for dinner was an added luxury.  once my uncle became more successful things changed again.  we went from living in tar paper, shot-gun houses that often didn’t have electricity.  later my uncle and aunt bought her a small house in a nice neighborhood.  they sent her money each month and i was able to give her money.  even with my grandfathers v.a. and social security in the early years i would guess she made about 70 dollars.  of course by the time she passed at the age of 79 she was up to 100!  when others were at her house and later in life she put up a small (very small) tree.

while in the military i didn’t celebrate except when i was with family.  then i was married to the love of my life and things changed again.  the first year we had a tree and my family lived close enough to join us.  after spending each day picking up ornaments knocked off the tree by our cats we swore no more trees!  since then we have had many types of celebrations. some we traveled and enjoyed the traditions shared with us.  of course we have enjoyed many years of traveling to charleston to stay with k,b, and the kids.  we have our room upstairs and can hear the hustle and bustle of the kids and the shushing from k and b:)  in 2013 we made our trip to yosemite, california.  looking back it is all the sweeter knowing it was the last trip on christmas that we would make.  of course you never know it’s the last until you are looking back.  last christmas with all in charleston was the last i would guess in charleston.  fortunately our family is very adaptable.  last weekend his son j with wife m and the two boys came for a couple of days.  the boys are getting so grown up.  they are now old enough to remember me.  we have not had a lot of time together as they lived in the bahamas for many years.  i just hope we have had enough to live on in their memory.  of course my charleston grandchildren have spent their whole life, all 9 and 12 years of it, with us in their life.  we have made our memories and tomorrow we will work on what is most likely our last holiday together.

it just seems so wonderful to be gifted with this time.  to know that i will have this time to think about as my time comes.  to think that while i am not counting on another christmas it could happen.  whether there is or not i just am so grateful today and each day for my family and friends.  right now a nap is calling our names:) hope everyone has the best day possible. hope that you all have love and laughter in your life.  those are the gifts we are given to get through life and each day.


  1. prenin said,

    When I was a child, Christmas was often one of violence and fear, but also good things too.

    Mum bought the presents, dad protested every penny spent on us and the only gift I got off him were some old LP’s he added to his own collection.

    After leaving home (an escape from servitude and mental abuse once I was too big to hit) I had a home of my own and holidays were with my God daughter’s family who adopted me as an honorary member, so I had good memories to recall and they helped ease the pain of the bad memories.

    This year I’m three parts brain fried, but I have Pat and Neil, so I am not alone!

    As for Dominic and the girls?

    They have their own families and are successful, something I can take pride in!

    Tonight I was expecting dinner would be delivered by Pat, but it looks like that isn’t possible so I’m doing to have a couple of sandwiches and tomorrow I’ll be eating dinner with my friends!

    Sometimes family isn’t necessarily the one you were born into…

    Love and huge squishy hugs to you and Chris! 🙂


    • s blake callahan said,

      my dear friend i hate that you were treated so badly. no one deserves to be treated that way.

      make as many good memories as possible now, you deserve much joy.

      sending you big mushy hugs and kisses!

  2. Terry said,

    I hope you are having the celebration of a life time. Have thought of you often . Big hugs and Merry Christmas

  3. Judy said,

    Whenever you write, Sandra – Even though you are living with dying, I see it more as if you are “dying to live.” I’m so glad you are surrounded by love, which makes it very hard for you to leave. I am hoping you will have another Christmas holiday and that your condition might stabilize so you can have more good days. Perhaps that is unlikely? Either way, it is very hard to say goodbye to you. Your wisdom and words always touch and warm my heart. I will miss them so much when you are gone. But what will remain is my appreciation for my life that you have opened my eyes to.

    • s blake callahan said,

      my concern is how those i love are going to handle my leaving. you know chris a bit now and so you know how close we are. just a couple of hours ago he told me i can’t leave him. i keep hoping he will reach a point of release but i don’t think that is going to happen until he has to.

      as always your words comfort me. i hope you have gained even half of what i have been gifted with your friendship and love.

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