Monday, December 24, 2018 — Christmas Eve. This year, after fighting another dreadful battle with bronchial asthma, I am able to give thanks for life, health and loved ones.
My wish for all of you is to keep Christ in Christmas. Never leave Christ out of Christmas when writing it. I’ve seen people writing Xmas. The only time I write this is to share with others how I keep Christ in Christmas. After all, if it wasn’t for the birth of Christ, we would not celebrate Christmas!
This year, I miss my dad terribly at Christmas. After Phil and I moved to Charleston, my father came to visit us every Christmas. We shared Christmas dinner and other festivities together.
During Christmas, 1997, my father was in the hospital, fighting for his life as esophageal cancer threatened to take him away. Our last Christmas together was the Christmas of 1998. I watched his body becoming so frail he needed a walker for strength. He detested that walker! Somehow I knew, this would be his last Christmas on earth. Now, he celebrates a joyous Christmas in heaven with his heavenly father, his parents, identical twin brother, sisters and another brother. Oh, how I miss him.
For reasons unknown, I have cried many times this Christmas season. Missing him, wishing I could reach out once more and hear his bellowing laughter. His Christmas prayer. His love. Christmas isn’t the same without him.
Tomorrow, I will celebrate Christmas dinner with my husband Phil and our Bratty Boys, our four-legged family members. We will dine on prime rib, baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, croissant rolls and sour cream pound cake. Missing will be my Dad, Walter W. Perkins, along with our son and his family. Never do they visit at Christmas. It’s their choice, not ours. Also missing, our sweet, precious Little Mr. Hanks, the Tank. We lost him the day before Thanksgiving.
Merry Christmas, Everyone. Please keep CHRIST in Christmas. After all, He is the reason for the season – not Santa Claus!
People are so interesting, especially during the holiday season. About 30 minutes ago, I was standing in the overcrowded line at Dollar Tree. I noticed a woman slowly pushing her cart into the line. She was an elderly woman with gray hair. Her face was wrinkled, reminding me of a crinkled road map. She had an angry smirk on her mouth. Maybe Santa Claus brought her a bunch of coal this year. She hugged the cart, probably for support. I could easily imagine this woman using this cart to keep her balance. Of course, being the shy person that I am NOT, I spoke to her to let her know the end of the line was several people behind me.
She glared at me and spat: “I know where the end of the line is. You don’t have to tell me that.”
“Well excuse me, Ma’am. Happy New Year.”
When the second cashier opened a register, I kept my eyes on it. If that woman even attempted to break into the line to get service quicker, I was ready for her. Even with my boots on I knew I could move quicker than Mama Grinch. I was prepared to tell the cashier other people have been in the line longer than she. That woman is not the ‘next person in line.’
Was I wrong? NO. Was I rude? NO. I was prepared to speak up.
I was raised to respect my elders, but today – I think I’ve lost a little respect. My message to this slump shouldered, stout, grouchy Mama Grinch is simple: “Just because you are old doesn’t mean you need to be ugly!”
Think I’ll pray for Mama Grinch today, adding her to a growing list I pray for every night. Another little tidbit of advice taught to me by my maternal grandmother. As an elderly woman I never heard her be rude to anyone. As for Mama Grinch, maybe she needs to stand in a corner and change her rude, angry attitude.
Isn’t it sad to see so many elderly people so angry with themselves? Maybe Mama Grinch was all alone on Christmas Day. So sad.
Yes, I’ll pray for all the angry elderly woman, hopeful she will find peace and happiness.
Today, December 24, 2017 is Christmas Eve. Today is also the anniversary of two of our dearest Friends, Joan and Jim Adams. May your anniversary be as special to them as they are to us.
If you are out and about in the middle of the insane Christmas rush, please DO NOT TAILGATE. I had too many careless drivers almost attached to the bumper of my car this week. So close, I could not see their headlights. Of course, if I had to stop suddenly all of you know what would happen. I simply do not understand drivers who love to drive that close.
Please, if you are driving, do not text and drive. Do not mess with your phone if you are driving. One never knows what can happen in the blink of an eye, or taking your eyes off of your driving.
May all of you have a safe and happy Christmas season. Yes, I say Christmas because Christmas is the holiday. The birth of the Christ child. The ONLY reason for the season.
Enjoy your time with family and friends and please make every day special. We never know how long we will be here, so please do not take careless and foolish chances with your life or someone else’s life. Life is too short to rush it away.
May all of you have a wonderful Happy Christmas. I am hopeful 2018 will be a calmer, happier year for this household. Less drama. The years of 2015, 2016, and 2017 have been so stressful to me I have to remind myself to INHALE…EXHALE…BREATHE. INHALE…HOLD FOR EIGHT SECONDS…EXHALE…HOLD FOR EIGHT SECONDS…BREATHE.
At times, practicing the art of relaxation works. Other times, I want to scream. I simply must learn to relax again. After all, life is too short.
Merry Christmas to all of you, and Happy 2018. Another year is quickly ticking away.
On December 19, 1914, two identical twins were born in Michigan. Lewis Eugene and Walter W. Perkins. Never did I have the honor to know Uncle Lewis. He died at 26-years-of-age from Bright’s Disease. I believe it is an inflammation of the kidneys. After his death, my father reportedly changed to a sad, miserable man. He and his identical twin were inseparable until Uncle Lewis died.
I lost my dad to esophageal cancer on July 6, 1999. I confess, a part of my heart died on that day. My dad and I were bonded. During his terminal illness, I visited him daily at the convalescent center and hospital, unless I was sick with my episodes of bronchial asthma.
Today, I would like to wish my dad and Uncle Lewis an early happy birthday in Heaven. No doubt, tomorrow will be a sad day for me; nevertheless, I will focus on the memories we made. Singing together. Teaching me to harmonize. Sharing my poems and other stories with him, and hearing him say on WCSC Channel 5 during an interview, “No. I’m not the writer. My daughter, Barbara, now she’s the writer!” My heart melted when I heard him say that. Finally, he was proud of me!
Our life together during my childhood wasn’t a good one. From the age of five-years-old, until I was 15, I served as the referee between my mother and my dad. Their marriage was a volatile marriage, filled with “I hate you…How I wish you were dead…I wish to God I’d never married you… You’re nothing but a bastard!” From both parties the hatred poured from their lips like steaming hot volcano ashes rolling vibrantly onto the grounds. Poisons. Poisons from lips without love or any form of happiness. During my childhood, I believe their angers, hatreds and tumultuous physical battles were protected within our home. I do not believe my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends of the family knew about the dreadful, dangerous domestic battles my parents fought. Secrets. Protected, never to be shared, until now. I knew not to say anything. If I did, my mother would come after me, slapping, knocking and pulling my hair out. If I wanted to live, my lips must remain closed.
Finally, at fifteen, I stood between them for the last time, telling them one of you needs to leave this marriage and this house. You’ve always hated each other… The next day, my father packed up and left. My mother spat at me telling me she hoped I was happy now. Their marriage was over and it was all my fault.
I rushed into my room. Never confronting her. Never calling my dad. I pondered my heartache inside while praying I would see my dad once again, and I would sing with him again. He visited us after the divorce. He rushed to hug me, something he never did until the bitter divorce. Gone were the shouting and fighting matches. My father had finally found out he was a ‘better man,’ as for my mother — her poisonous tongue spilled hatred to me every time she could. Shouting matches. Slapping my face. Pulling my hair until clumps of my hair fell into her hands. Never did I share these shattered, horrifying days with anyone. I was taught to be seen, but not heard. How I detested whenever we visited family members. I was told to “say hello. Give a hug and keep your damned mouth shut.”
And so, I did!
To escape the misery of my teenage years, I married at 17. After moving to Charleston, Dad and I became much closer. When he was 68, in 1982, we moved him to Charleston to be closer to a family member. I delighted in caring for him and visiting him in his apartment until 1988 when I had to find a job to save my home and family. My job was demanding, working 40 hours plus, including weekends.
In 1997, during the holidays, Dad became ill. In December, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He chose to battle the debilitating cancer until his death in July, 1999. During that time, we made wonderful memories. I changed jobs, so I could spend more time with Dad. I watched the wonderful, happy man he became and I loved him even more than he, or anyone, could imagine.
The week before his death, he sat in his room at the nursing home, reading his Bible, praying for God to ‘take me home.’ He was spiteful with me. Almost cruel, according to his roommate, Mr. Dudley. Dad would move his hands, telling me to leave his room. Although it hurt, I swallowed my pride and listened to him doing his best to detach from me. He did not want me around when he died.
On July 6, 1999, as I walked towards his room, I met a nurse, pushing an oxygen tank. “Oh no,” I managed to say, “that isn’t a good sign.” She nodded and when she and I placed our hands on the door of Dad’s room, I knew the moment of his passing had arrived.
I screamed. Cried. Hysterically, I sat in a chair, across from Dad’s room and I listened. The nurse wanted to know if I wanted them to ‘bring him back.’ I said No. He’s a DNR. Please do not resuscitate him. Let him go. He was praying to die soon.
Nineteen years ago, according to birthdays, my father celebrated his birthday now as an identical twin. No doubt, he and Uncle Lewis have caught up and replenished their lost years. I can picture them singing in the Heavenly choirs, inseparable and happy together.
Today, I would like to celebrate Walter and Lewis Perkins, better known as the Perkins Twins a wonderful Happy Birthday. Now, 103 years-of-age December 19 will be a joyous celebration in Heaven. I can hear my dad singing harmony with Uncle Lewis, probably singing Amazing Grace together while celebrating their reunion and Christmas.
As for me, I will be busy wrapping Christmas packages and maybe going out to get more Christmas goodies for our pups and for Phil. I always keep myself extra busy on December 19. While I am happy for my father to be reunited with Uncle Lewis and with God, I miss him.
Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to the Perkins Twins. Oh, Dad — how I miss you!
This will probably be the shortest blog post I’ve written in a long time. Today is Christmas Eve, 2016. This day has gone wrong from the beginning. Anything and everything that could happen, I do believe has. Phil was dizzy this morning. Fortunately, he rested and got better. As for the rest of the day, let’s just say — it hasn’t been a nice, calm Christmas Eve.
For all of you, my reading public, for you in the military — away from your families and loved ones, I would like to wish all of you a wonderful Merry Christmas. I pray for the safety of our military daily and at night. I still remember what it was like for me, a young newlywed, with a husband in a dreadful, frightening war zone. I did not have a support group while my husband fought a war. All I had was my faith in God, and I prayed constantly that he would return home safely. Silly me, I even prayed for him to return home as a normal person.
After his return, I realized I would never know or see the one I kissed at the airport on that sad day when he left me for Fort Dix, and Viet Nam. Let’s just say, I knew he had PTSD before he was willing to admit it after his return. Yes, there are trying times when the slightest reaction will trigger another PTSD attack. Today, I’m proud of him. We were shouting at each other. This time, he walked away, so — as he stated, “We would not fight.”
Perhaps my prayers and his therapy are helping both of us. Gone is the reaction and the trigger now, and I’m proud of him. PTSD can be a monster at times. Today, it is better. Thank you, God.
And so now, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful, peaceful Merry Christmas. To those in the military, I pray for your safe return. How can I pray for you when I don’t know you? I pray for our soldiers…our military…our officers in Blue…and I pray for our nation.
Tomorrow as you enjoy Christmas dinners and social events, please remember the reason for the season. Once in Bethlehem, a baby was born and he became the savior of our entire world. Let us all take a moment to give thanks as we unwrap packages, share drinks and social events, and let us all remember the true reason for the season. It isn’t Santa Claus. After all, Santa Claus has been around for every generation and he has never died. So, let us all give thanks and gratitude to Christmas, Jesus Christ, and all of our lives, religions, beliefs, and our freedoms. Without our military, the USA would not be a nation where freedom reigns.
May all of us enjoy a wonderful, happy Merry Christmas, and when you say your prayer at the dinner table, please include our military, our first responders, our Blue Bloods, and everyone who keeps us alive and well. Merry Christmas to everyone!
Merry Christmas, 2015 to all. It is a foggy day in Charleston today. The city is draped in a thick blanket of fog with visibility dreadful. My pups awoke early, and so the day begins.
I would like to take a moment to wish you much happiness and family fun today at Christmas.
This house will share the festivities with our four-legged loved ones — Shadow, Shakespeare, Sandy Bear, Hank and Toby. They are playing outside now, probably anticipating a bite or two of the dinner I will prepare.
I would like to wish all of you who read my posts a wonderful, safe and Happy Christmas. If you are a member of the Armed Forces, please be safe. The holidays are a time for family gatherings. With the Armed Forces away, the holidays are sad. There is an empty chair where you belong.
If you live in the South, or on the East coast, you are experiencing a Christmas without snow. A season of turning the air conditioner on while wondering — just WHERE is the snow. No doubt, if this warm weather continues, and a bright sunshine SHOULD RETURN, I will take a long walk on the beach. After all, it is the Christmas season.
From my household to your home, Merry Christmas. Please remember the reason for this special season while giving thanks you are able to enjoy the festivities this year. Merry Christmas. Have a safe holiday season.