Since I have been having such a hard time with this years holiday celebrations... I thought it may be a time to turn the clock back and remind myself of the good that this season brings out in people.
As far as childhood memories, I don't seem to have any. (a whole 'nother story for other times) But I will never forget my Christmas in 1978.
This was the year that my daughter Amy was born. She was accidently born in Phoenix Arizona. (okay 'nother story 'nother time lol) When she was 6-1/2 months old they finally approved of her transfer to Children's Hospital in Seattle Washington. She flew by jet with a private ICU nurse and her biological father and I drove to meet up with her.
We had no money.. in fact, had it not been for traveler's aid centers along the way and a few blood centers that paid for donating, we never would have made it. When we arrived, we lived in our car for the first month.
Amy was already over 7 months old and had never been able to leave the hospital, as they kept saying she needed to be 5 pounds and she just seemed to be stuck on the 4 pound mark. They finally said they would break the rules and let us bring her home late October/early November, but only if we had a real home to bring her to.
We found a place to live, which was a rental apartment in one of those big old houses. It was a huge room with a front room type area and its own private kitchen. We couldn't afford the deposit, but after hearing our story of trying to get Amy home from the hospital, the landlord felt sorry for us.
We finally got to bring her home! Although, she was very sickly and I spent almost as much time sleeping at the local hospital as I did sleeping in the apartment with her. Her dad just couldn't (or wouldn't) hold a job and one night flipped out in a drunken rage and long story short, I had to call the police and have him arrested. It would be the last time we saw him for over 5 years.
So here I was with a 4 pound sickly but beautiful little angel.. and nothing else. No money, no thoughts for what our future would now hold.
Welfare helped me out and I was able to keep a roof over our heads, but I didn't have enough for food (thankfully Amy was on hospital supplied special formula) or the major expense of putting oil in the furnace, but I kept her snuggled warm in her bassinet under a mound of blankets and I had a warm coat.
As we got closer to Christmas, I was a little sad that I could see everyone else celebrating and getting prepared, but I was so happy to have Amy home that I wasn't thinking past that.
About a week before Christmas someone knocked at my door and when I opened it there stood the receptionist from Amy's doctor's office and behind her a huge group of people, who she introduced as members of her church.
In they walked, carrying a Christmas tree, boxes full of decorations, clothing, blankets, toys, food that lasted me for months and a check for $200.00! I got to have heat for Christmas!
(Yes, that is the tree above.. and bushy haired me holding Amy.) I don't look very happy but I really was.
In that moment.. I learned what the spirit of Christmas is all about. I will never forget that day and those wonderful angels.