December 18, 2011

Sharing Memories (Week 51): Best and Worst Christmas

It's Week 51 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2011.

Please join us each Sunday as we share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Share a memory here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but write! Leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren.

This week's Sharing Memories is the last for this year. Next Sunday is Christmas Day and I'm going to show you how to make a book out your 2011 Memories Journal. I will be starting a NEW series of topics for Sharing Memories for 2012 on Sunday Jan. 1. So be sure to check back on New Year's Day to carry on with your journal writing.

Since this is the last topic for 2011 and we're in holiday season I've decided to share my memories of the best Christmas I remember - and the worst.  Life doesn't always hand out lollipops and roses. Our descendants will want to hear about our sorrows and tragedies as much as our joy and our fun times.

Best Christmas

My best Christmas was the year I turned 10. That year there was a new doll on the market for kids - one with articulated legs and arms. She walked!

Her little hip joins moved and her shoulder joints moved. If you held her hands she walked. And I wanted her. She was expensive and I figured I probably couldn't have her but I wanted her anyway. 

That Thanksgiving I got the wishbone from the turkey, closed my eyes and made my silent wish. Of course I wished for the doll. My oldest brother asked what my wish was and I told him. He laughed and said "Ha ha once you tell a wish it won't come true" I was devasted and sobbed for hours.

But guess what - see the photo on the left? What do you think I'm holding? Yes! The articulated dolly. That was my happiest Christmas even though I don't look very happy in this photo!

Worst Christmas

My Dad and I with the Dolly
My worst Christmas was the Christmas my father died. I had just turned 14. He hadn't been well all summer with pains in his stomach and was admitted into the local hospital in the fall. After a few weeks they transferred him to a bigger hospital in a nearby city. Christmas Eve he took a turn for the worse and on Christmas Day he died.

His wrapped presents sat under our tree all that day. I don't remember who finally got them out of sight. I even remember what I bought for him that year and how excited I was thinking how much he was going to love my gift - a porcelain Dachshund with little cups hanging from its side. I kept looking at the box it was in, wrapped under the tree, thinking how much he'd have liked it.

I remember how upset I was that my mother wouldn't let any of us go and see him on Christmas Eve so  I never got to say goodbye.

I remember the phone ringing when the hospital called a few hours before he passed on, and my mother telling us that he was dying. It was my brother who came and told me he was gone.

It was 51 years ago that he left us and every Christmas for 51 years I've ended up crying as Christmas Day draws to a close. It's a difficult day for me even 51 years later.

I remember. And I miss him.


Jenny Jones said...

Oh Lorine, I am crying with you too. What a poignant post. Prayers and hugs.

Greta Koehl said...

What a beautiful smile he had - my sympathy on a loss that is still keenly felt.

Claudia's Genealogy Blog said...

That is one of the saddest stories I have heard relating to Christmas. Can you even imagine how your mother must have felt when he died on Christmas and you did not get to see him on the Eve.

She probably live with that regret her whole life.

Emily said...

This is so sad. My sympathies.