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Mielke: Christmas already in the air

Even though the calendar page is not even turned to December, it seems the Christmas spirit is getting ready to settle in.
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Even though the calendar page is not even turned to December, it seems the Christmas spirit is getting ready to settle in.

“I’ll be glad when the elf comes,” the littlest grandson told me the other day. His blue eyes were serious, and his little face wistful.

He makes me smile, the littlest grandson.

I remember years ago when I was a child, knee-high to a grasshopper, and my dad wrote in my autograph book, “you are the spirit of Christmas, my star on the tree.”

I didn’t get it. How could I be my dad’s star on the tree and the spirit of Christmas? My brother and I had made our own star out of cardboard and tinsel and to me it was the perfect star. Thank you very much.

And I didn’t understand anything about the word spirit, except for, perhaps, what I had learned in Sunday School, sitting on those hard wooden pews in that little white clapboard church that sat on main street in the town that I grew up in.

But looking at this little boy with the magic of unexplained miracles shining in his eyes, I get it now.

And surprisingly enough, my three adult children recently also taught me something about the spirit of Christmas.

I have been less than my healthy, vigorous self the last few months. I hate admitting that. I want to be superwoman. I want to be strong. I want to get things done. Entertain. Laugh. Make music. Work out. I want to be there for each and every one of those precious grandchildren who have somehow time-travelled into their growing-up years all too quickly.

But, as I was saying, I have had this pain, mostly in my ribs, that makes lifting, indeed, any strenuous movement almost impossible.

Yikes, I didn’t see that coming and I must admit I have been not only in pain, but I have been a pain.

I chose to suffer in silence until finally, one day I didn’t.

That was the day my son phoned me and made the mistake of asking me the generic question people ask each other.

“How are you?”

Twenty minutes later he put down the phone which was, no doubt, soggy with my tears (tears time travel) and called his sisters.

And that was when I learned a valuable lesson.

I learned how to graciously receive.

In less than a heartbeat, the kids put their own busy lives on hold, and they stepped into mine.

Before I knew it, my laundry was done, my floors washed, and my fridge and pantry stocked with groceries. My snow tires were miraculously put on.

I thought back to the early days of motherhood when I just want them to go to sleep, or later, and later when I just want them to come home so I could go to sleep.

And then I snuggled down into my cozy, soft blanket and thought of nothing except sleep.

It is true. Love is an action verb. And when some of that action comes your way, the only thing to do is gratefully accept it and say ‘thanks.’

Treena Mielke is a Central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.



About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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