Monday, January 4, 2010
I felt a twinge of sadness this week as I remembered my mother on what would have been her 77th birthday. Even though her passing was 23 years ago, I still miss her all the time. I especially feel her presence at Christmastime. I remember one year when I was a little girl Santa brought me a large wooden dog that walked when you pulled it on a string. The next morning my mother discovered that I had put Santa's gift in the bed to sleep with me. It wasn't exactly comfy—actually it was downright painful—but I wanted to be as close as I could get to my new little friend. Why my parents didn't give me a stuffed animal after that I'll never know.
Yesterday I was so happy to receive a special Christmas surprise from a friend who must really know me. It was a basket filled with wonderful and interesting treasures. The one item that couldn't escape my attention was the cutest little sock monkey which I promptly named Joaquin (seemed like the perfect name to me.) It's funny how receiving something like this transported me immediately back to my childhood. Last night at bedtime I wanted to put the whole basket in the bed with me, just like I did with that wooden dog. (One thing I have learned as a grown-up is not to sleep on hard objects. It can leave a scar, poke an eye out or heaven forbid, create a new wrinkle.) I opted to let the sock monkey—sweet little Joaquin—sleep in the big bed with me and my real-life dog Chopper (strategically on opposite sides of course). I think my mother would have smiled to see that I am still that same little wide-eyed girl with special gifts tucked beside her in bed.
Every year I share the holidays with people I love, creating new memories. I hope I never stop enjoying the gifts of Christmas with childlike wonder. It still amazes me how God uses events of the present to trigger memories from the past, especially those feelings of home that remain in my heart no matter where I am. I may be a grown woman (no snarky remarks please) but I will always be somebody’s child. I was blest with earthly parents who set my heart in motion and a Heavenly Father who will carry me through my days. . .and a sock monkey to remind me not to take myself too seriously.