Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Treasure Chest

It's always the little things in life that you miss during the holidays that you come to realize as you get older. Certain smells if things were cooked, or certain traditions- maybe even snow (for a day!). I remember when I was little we would travel to my grandparents at some point and feast with family- extended too! People that I couldn't tell you exactly how they were related- just that they were family- mine, and they all loved me too! My sisters and I would get new dresses (some years matching) and new shoes, we would run around, cause after all that's what kids do, and then we would all come together and sit down for a huge dinner. I remember people would fuss over my Grandpa (nothing was wrong with him) and I would think when I get older will I fuss like that? Now I would give anything to fuss over him, if only for a little bit... But we all got older, traditions have changed, families have moved, and what was once important has shifted.
When I moved to Florida I was blessed by a husband who not only loved me, but loved my son. In addition to that his family took us in and put up with my "demanding" ways. I brought with me "my" way of thinking and "my" way of doing things. Who knew there were other ways of doing the holidays? But with love and patients they let me in...
Last year I was quick to put up my tree, my village, the wreath, and decorate the house. It was wonderful!

I just fell in love with the look and everything. That was last year! (actually I think the pictures are from two years ago because last year  I even had a train!)
This year came and it just hit. Life is life, you would think that with graduating school I would be flying high- that just wasn't the case. I heard over and over again how proud everyone was, and although my children were there to see my husband and myself walk it just felt like something was missing. Quickly the weeks passed.
Christmas came.
Anyone who truly knows me, knows it is a struggle and not my favorite time of year anyway, I push through, but enough "baggage" weighs me down and I generally glide through the holidays hoping I don't drink my weight. This year was like a rock got stuck in my throat and I just haven't been able to get past it, nor have I really been able to really express it.
It hit me. For years since I moved down, I have always purchased two wreaths. One I would decorate for my house, and other I always decorated very similar for Nana. She would always make a big fuss about how "us kids" (Rich was her grandson) shouldn't spend our money on that sort of thing, but then she would spend the whole holiday going on and on about it, totally delighted over a wreath. I always put some sort of little trinkets on it, and I never knew what happened to those. I know she saved them. That's another story, I guess... 
Last year she was gone. So I only made one wreath, and I thought about her the whole time I made it and how she would comment on how lovely it was. When I hung it up last year I smiled, and shed a tear. This year, there is no wreath. I don't know, maybe it was just my schedule, maybe it was just on purpose. Maybe it was easier... I know I thought that when she passed away there would be a little treasure chest of all the little trinkets from the last few years from the wreaths as I had watched her carefully take them apart and save the bows and little pieces telling me as she did how much it meant to her. It meant something to me, I guess, I belonged, if even for a little bit. I was so hurt to find the way her treasures were treated.
When my Grandpa passed there was a world of things my Grandma made sure that we knew was still there to touch, to feel, to be apart of, but I know even some of that is slowly slipping away. My Grandma has given us the biggest blessing of them all, with memories of photos, and stories and some bow-ties :)- I really wish I had taken some! But the memory of them and all the other precious moments will live with me in my memory treasure chest!