Mama told me a while back how much she enjoys reading my blogs. However, she said that all of my blogs read, “I had a wonderful father who I loved dearly but my Mama was a hateful bitch.” For those of you that know my mother, you can hear her saying that and realize how funny it is. It’s also not true at all.
Mama and Deddy always made Christmas special. Even during times when they were struggling, they made sure that Travis and I had a wonderful Christmas. I can look back at certain years and I realize just how blessed we were. During one of the most difficult times of their life, we got an Atari for Christmas. We were two of the first kids to have an Atari and it wasn’t until the next Christmas that EVERYBODY got one. Mama also used to always make sure we got things that were unique. She has bought us multiple musical instruments over the years and we can’t play any of them! Well, Travis can play a guitar for “Guitar Hero” on Nintendo, but he did not learn it until he was grown and I’m not sure if I’m proud of him, or ashamed. She would get us unique books, things to put in our rooms, matching clothes, and all sorts of other things that made Christmas special.
Three years ago, Mama was battling cancer. She was going through chemotherapy and radiation at the same time. It was physically and emotionally draining. That was a hard Christmas but we made it through. Now, in our family, we know that Mama can be stubborn about some things. So, during her treatment, I always went with her on the hard days. She might argue with Travis and she might argue with her sister, Libby. However, she was not going to argue with me. She laughs now about the fact that when she was depressed, tired, or feeling defeated, that I did not want to hear it. And I didn’t. But that cuts both ways and if I ever face a challenging medical situation, Mama would never allow me to give up without a fight. Her support would be the same as always, encouraging and reassuring that God has a plan and that one should take advantage of every opportunity that is available when battling an illness.
I think that at this time of the year, we all look back and reflect on all we have to be grateful for. I cannot express the gratitude that I have for the doctors, nurses, and medical staff at the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center for helping Mama overcome cancer. Everyone was so helpful, encouraging and optimistic when treating Mama. Our society has a distorted view of what is really important and merit is often based simply on popularity. But the true heroes in this world work at places like the Lineberger Cancer Center. They were the “Justice League” to our family when we really needed them and I will always appreciate that.
This year will be the 19th Christmas that Deddy has not been here. We all miss him, especially at this time of the year. He truly was Father Christmas. But Mama deserves the same credit for making Christmas such a wonderful time of the year. The decorations in our home were always beautiful. The candy she made for so many years was always great. Mama and Deddy made every effort to get us the things we wanted while reminding us to be grateful for everything. Everything they did for us at Christmas gave us a whole lot more than just gifts and presents. It gave us the memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. Tonight I will do the same thing that I have done for my entire life. I will spend Christmas with my family to make new memories that will last forever. On my way home tonight around 11:00, I’ll drive by Barbecue Church and visit Deddy’s grave. I’ll make sure his tree is still lit and wonder if he can hear me when I’m talking. I’ll talk to him about a number of things. As always, I’ll let him know that Mama is ok. And most of all, I’ll assure him I’m keeping my promise……he will understand.
May God Bless all of you and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!