Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's Almost Here

Seasons Greetings From The G-Man...
I'm sure that many of you have children at home still. I'm sure that many of you have one or more parents still living. Some of you are even lucky enough to have one or more grandparents still living.
I was raised by my grandparents. My father was killed during the Korean Conflict, and my mother was a bookkeeper at a large local business. In those days women that did not work at a restaurant or a factory, were known as career girls. She wore nice clothes, she went out on dates, and we lived with her parents. My grandfather worked at an auto factory, and was a very decent, hard working man. My grandmother was the worlds greatest cook, and had a small catering business on the side.
My grandma was the youngest of 8 children, my grandpa was the youngest of 11. She had 4 kids of her own, including my mother. When I was 5, my mom remarried and had 5 more kids of her own. So without climbing my family tree for you, let it just be said that we brothers, sisters, and cousins were very close and muched loved..... We were poor, but didn't know it....
After my moms 3rd child, I was given the oportunity to move back with my grandparents, if I wanted to. Are you kidding! My own room, my own stuff, my old playmates, I jumped at the chance. In those days there were no nursing homes to speak of, and it seemed that the older people in my grandparents family came to our house to live out their final days..That was OK, we had the room.
Eventually, if you are young enough, you outlive everyone in your family.
Eventually, all your children leave home.
Eventually, your grandkids even leave home.
About two days before Christmas in 1975, I stopped by the house to see my grandparents, and to leave some presents under her tree. When I walked in the front door, she was sitting in the dark, with only the tree lights on. She did not look at me, she did not smile, she did not flinch, she didn't say a word. She just stared straight ahead, as if in a trance. Looking at the lit tree.
No matter how many times a called her name she didn't respond..Jeez I thought she had a stroke..Soon my gramps called me to the kitchen and said "don't talk to her, she's remembering". I said' remembering what'? He said, 'son, it's hard to explain, but some day you'll know'...

My mom is gone, grandma and grandpa are gone. Last year I buried my younger brother. I have a sister I haven't seen in 15 years. My baby brother lives in Virginia. My only daughter who is 20, is studying in Prague and will not be home until May. Last night as I was sitting in my living room with the tree on, I saw my daughters ornament ' Babys 1st Christmas'. Then I saw the stocking that my mom knitted for me when I was in her womb. Then all of the memories of past Christmasses flashed through my head. I sat there as if in a trance, not moving, hardly able to breath, spellbound by the lights....remembering the words of a simple man, 'son, someday you'll know'...30 years later, I knew.....

I think we were rich, and didn't know it.

Merry Christmas...Enjoy Every Minute Of It!!!

29 comments:

erika said...

I do believe you were really rich. I am looking at my tree in a whole new light now. Thanks

lime said...

wiping a tear from my eye right now. you've made so many memories and thoughts rush back to me all in a moment. what a beautifully written and touching post. you were indeed rich. i think if i were there i'd just silently bring you a warm drink to sip while you remembered, make a little bite to eat that would keep, and when you were done 'remembering' invite you to tell me about it over the food.

G-Man said...

Erika, thank you. Enjoy everyday to the fullest!

Lime, I know you appreciate everything that life brings. You show it in your very comforting way.Thank you Michelle.

jillie said...

Awww...G-man. What a beautiful story. I too remember simpler holidays and I measure wealth in memories and stories and I think you were and still are one wealthy man!

Madame X said...

Thank you!
Merry Christmas.

Strumpet said...

Galen,

This post has managed to surpass my previous Favourite G-Man Post for the honour.

It's simply lovely.

And soothing.

And real.

And Holiday-y.

LOVE IT.

You've managed to encompass such a wide range of emotions all in one shebang. (Pretend that's spelled properly.) It's like I want to cry and I want to smile and I don't know which one I want to do and in trying to decide you've just managed to take my breath away.

I'm sending Scrooge over to read YOUR post this year.

Jingle those bells, baby.

G-Man said...

Jillie, thanks honey.

Madame, It's always an honor to have you visit, your welcome.

Chandra, thanks. You know how I feel about you! And you know how much I value your opinion. xoxoxo

Top cat said...

Thank you for a great post.
It seems as we get older, those words of wisdom our elders passed on to us make a lot more sense now.
Tc

G-Man said...

Thanks TC, From one old guy to another eh?

jillie said...

Galen...I was telling my mom about your post and let her read it...she thought it was very touching and it brought a tear to her eye as well. It stirred the same emotions in me as it did the first time.

G-Man said...

Thanks Jillie,
Thanks Jillies Mom,
You both rock on in badger country!

Manny said...

You were and are very rich sweetie.

Merry Christmas!

jillie said...

Woo Hooo....from the "geezer of a cheezer" xoxo back at ya honey! I'm on my way out the door in about 15 min...I think I just peed my pants!

SignGurl said...

Galen, what a touching post. I'm crying as I write this but for happy reasons. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

G-Man said...

Jillie, will you quit talking about peeing. You mom reads this stuff ya know..

Glad you liked it Jenn. I sure liked your post today!!

SignGurl said...

Why thank you!! I almost didn't post. I hope there will be more down the road.

gab said...

Nice to know that one day it does all make sence.Sad thing is its always when we are older. I wish we knew this stuff when we were say 18. Things would sure make more sence then. lol Oh well. Hugs Merry Christmas

Manny said...

Did I mention I love to sit and watch my tree lights flicker?

Roxi said...

Honey...

Remembering is all we have in the end..

I try to remember everyone whenever I can.. Remember everything about time spent with family...

Love means sooo much.

Kristen said...

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

Thank you for this post

G-Man said...

Sara,welcom back honey. We missed you. Thanks for visiting, you ARE the HOT BITCH!

Kristen, thanks for the kind words. Did Rocky survive?

Manny, xoxoxo

Otis said...

Merry Christmas G...

SignGurl said...

Merry Christmas, Galen!

jillie said...

Hey sweetie I'm BAAAACK! And OMG did I have the time of my life. They even have a Leinie Lodge in the stadium...I was in total awe the whole time. I even ran into Steve Marriucchi (sp?) d'oh!!!!! I'll post some stuff on Monday! xo

gab said...

Galen

Merry Christmas


Gab

Top cat said...

Merry Christmas Galen.
May your new year be filled with warm bowls of milk and furry mice.
tc

crabcake said...

Believe it or not G. I get it. Been there, doing that.
Merry Christmas, my friend.

Strumpet said...

Merry Christmas, Galen.

Thank you for everything, always.

Hope y'all have fun enjoying your ribs.

My mice that are stirring about wish you good tidings for giving them a voice.

tsduff said...

I was just scrolling down a little to see about you. This post packed a real punch. Guess you "funny, biker guys" are really the ones who know how to write about the stuff that really matters. Thanks for this memory. I lost my Mom (my hero) unexpectedly 4 years ago - younger sis 10 years ago and my husband 3 years ago this spring. I have reached a point where the memories are okay to remember fondly instead of just raw... Very nice post.