It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Did you sing that along with me? No, we don’t have snow although we might see a snowflake this weekend. That will be a change after short sleeve weather yesterday. Anyway, no big snow yet. This picture is from a winter four years ago. I wanted to find a picture of a cedar tree and none in my collection quite fit the bill. So this one looks like a Christmas card and there’s a snow covered cedar in it. That makes it sort of work for the Christmas memory I’m sharing from Mary.
Sometimes you just need a Christmas tree no matter how hard it is to cut down or how much trouble it’s going to bring you. Mary’s story might make you smile and wipe away a tear at the same time as she tells about her mother’s last Christmas. So here it is.
I remember the year my Mama was sick. A nice cedar tree grew in the backyard of our country home. When Daddy planted it a few years earlier, he had warned me, “Don’t you even think of chopping down that tree!”
I cared for my Mama full time the last year of her life. Even though she drifted in and out of consciousness and didn’t notice her surroundings, I wanted her to have a real tree for Christmas. After Daddy left for work early Christmas Eve morning, I began searching for the hand saw. I spent two hours sawing that tree down. Finally covered with sap and blisters, I dragged it inside and set it up, making sure it was in perfect view of Mama’s bed, but out of Daddy’s direct view when he returned. I couldn’t outfox the old fox, but knowing Mama wouldn’t see another Christmas, I was determined to give her a real tree.
When Daddy came home that night, he didn’t have to see the tree; he could smell the fresh cedar. We locked eyes, both as stubborn as mules, and readied ourselves for the inevitable fight. Suddenly, we heard a chattering sound from the branches. A small squirrel ran out of the tree and up the side of Daddy’s overalls, landing on his shoulders. Just as it landed, Mama opened her eyes, sat up in bed, and let out the biggest laugh I’ve ever heard. The squirrel then jumped down and ran through the house. Daddy and I chased that little critter for hours before finally freeing him to the great outdoors.
I was forgiven for cutting down the tree and even for the squirrel because it brought such joyous laughter to my Mama. She was able to sit up and eat again. It was a good Christmas memory.
Mama passed away on January 18th, and Daddy (and my only brother) have passed on as well. Every Christmas I think of that tree, the squirrel, Daddy’s stubborn nature, and my Mama’s laughter. His stubborn streak and her laughter have helped me fight my way through many hardships.
God has special ways to remind us of His wonderful sense of humor. I am so thankful He reminds me of this special time. My laugh is as big as Mama’s when I recall the memory.
Thank you so much for sharing your heartwarming story, Mary. God does send us blessings in many ways. Wishing you surprising blessings this Christmas and every day along with plenty of laughter.
Thank you all for reading. Remember, if you want to enter my Christmas giveaway and win a set of decorative trains along with a choice of one of my books, you can still enter the contest. Details are on my News & Events Page. You can enter by sending me an e-mail or commenting on one of my posts prior to December 17, 2016. You can also enter a separate drawing to be one of ten winners who will get my new kids’ book, Freak of the Week. And if you’ve already entered, that’s great, but I always enjoy reading your comments here.