Friday, December 31, 2004

A Memorable Christmas

I've had very little else on my mind for the past week. If I share every detail with my good friends, maybe I can go on to something else.

On Christmas day we had 14 for dinner. None of these people are blood kin, all of them brothers and sisters in the Lord. At this time of year many people are absent from family and feel an emptiness. We all had a warm and loving time.

The next day Paul and Marie got here from Winston-Salem. Paul is our oldest and Marie is a sort of unofficial ward he's been looking after for the past 12 years.

I had issues with Paul that lasted for many years; I didn't provide him with the love he needed at a crucial time, which estranged us badly. Gradually it has ameliorated through the years. He has been very faithful to come down on Christmas, when the other two are often occupied with other family relationships.

Last year he said something that blew my mind-- and completely healed (for me) whatever breach remained. It was early in the morning and Ellie was going to the tennis court with Marie. Tongue in cheek I said "what about breakfast?" No response from her, she just keep walking. Paul said, "I'll fix your breakfast Dad."

Overwhelmed Dad! After a minute I said, "Paul, you're the only son I have who would do such a thing." (Actually he was a French chef years ago.) I thought for a minute and then said,

"And I'll tell you something else, if I ever find myself alone and helpless, you can just bet that you'll find me knocking at your door". Like a flash he came back, "You would be very welcome there."

Oh Wow! Big wow! That was one of my happiest moments in many a year.

Well they've been here a week now, and no cross words. I feel like the truly happy old man. As I told an older friend who had driven from Washington State and stopped to see us, this is the happiest year of my life, and I expect next year to be better.

I believe that a great many people still need to forgive their parents, and perhaps even more need to forgive God. Now's the time; there'll never be a better one.

God bless you all, read good.

No comments: