I would like to introduce you to Rosemary. THis is her first time blogging. Rosemary and I grew up next door to each other. I remember her mother, a very kind and soft spoken woman. This is Rosemary’s story of Christmas.
Christmas was always my Mama’s favorite holiday. Even though money was tight when I was growing up she always made it a special time for our family. She was never an assertive, demanding person but we always knew that she wanted us all to be together on Christmas day and we all made sure we were.
The first Christmas we spent as a family without my Mama came only a week after we buried her. She had suffered the 9 months before battling lung cancer. I sometimes think she willed herself to die before Christmas day because she was so worried about spoiling Christmas for us that year and the years to come if she held on too much closer to the day. I know that sounds odd, but, if you knew her you might understand where I’m coming from with that statement. But you see, she was such a selfless, meek person and she thought she had become a burden and actually felt guilt from what she perceived as putting everyone out for having to help her. You see she had always been the caregiver and the glue that held things together in our family and she was very uncomfortable with having us helping her and taking care of her. Also, she had become weary from suffering and grown tired of the fight.
Anyway, back to Christmas. None of us felt like celebrating that day but knew that was what Mama would want so we decided we would spend Christmas day at my sister’s house. Having it at our parent’s house without Mama would be just too sad and since my sister had three little girls she had a Christmas tree up and we knew it would the best place to gather for the children. So there we were going through the motions of a big dinner, gift exchanges, photos taken and watching the children play with their new toys. But we all knew Christmas just wasn’t ever going to be the same. We as a family had already grieved a Christmas without a dearly loved one when my brother had passed away, tragically and unexpectedly seven years earlier. But now to go through this again was almost more than we could bear. Later on, seeing the photos that were taken that day, you could see that the smiles were strained and the deep sadness was shown in our eyes. Even the five young grandchildren felt the sadness without their sweet Grandma there taking pleasure in their joy as she played and spent time with them as was usually done on this special day. Yes, Mama was right in her thinking and Christmas has always been a hard time of the year for me after losing my two most favorite people in the world, especially losing one during the holiday season.
However, God is faithful. He knows our sadness and hears our prayers and at that time He knew just what our family needed to help get out of our funk and depression. Six months after that Christmas He blessed us with a beautiful, healthy baby girl! I named her Cara, which means “Special Friend” in one language since I felt like I had lost my special friend when my brother had passed and in Italian it means “Cherished and Beloved One” which is how I felt about my Mama.
I still have my sad moments each year and allow myself that time of mourning. But not for long! Christmas isn’t a time for mourning, it is the one-day of the year to celebrate the conception of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I knew then that is what I had to teach and show my children. So I’d put a big smile on my face and draw from every inner strength I had to make it a wonderful, magical, joyous day with my husband and children and I knew that’s what Mama and Jim would want me to do anyway. After some time it wasn’t all that hard to do anymore because after all, no matter what else is happening in your life, Jesus is and always will be the Reason for the Season.
Hope you make it a Merry Christmas, no matter what your circumstance may be at this time. Rosemary Porter Coggins
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Thank you for reminding me not to take these holidays w/ my children and parents for granted.
I keep looking at the one photo. Is that your bright yellow house? I just love it, and those ornaments, too.
Hi Brandee, I just saw your comment. I’m glad my story touched you. To answer your question about the house, no, that’s not my home. I live in a big tan colored stucco house. But that was a cozy looking house in the pic, wasn’t it?!
Rosemary, there is something about this that really strikes a chord with me…thank you for sharing your heart.