So while I believe that blogging is a great way to focus on what is good and grateful in life- I can’t lie and say that all is cheery and jingle belly with me this time of the year. It kind of almost stinks most days and I am having a hard time dealing with Mom being gone. I can’t believe there are millions of people out there who lose love ones to death every day. How is the world doing it?
So while wishing Mom didn't feel so far away this Christmas season, miracle #2 happened:
First of all many years ago before I was even born, Mom took a ceramic class. In the class she oiled rubbed/painted a nativity scene. All growing up we used this simple nativity scene at Christmas time. I remember playing with it endlessly as a kid. I even remember Mom telling us the story of Christ's birth as she held up each piece and explained what they meant. I remember we somehow lost the baby Jesus- so He was replaced- with a plastic baby from our doll house- so amongst all the white antiqued ceramic nativity characters there was this rather large baby- a bright yellow shiny plastic baby Jesus. Mom later expressed its appropriateness- "Well we won’t forget who the most important person of the season is will we?" The baby is rather large and compared to Mary's size- He's a little scary.
Well as years passed Mom was given another nativity scene- a big huge gorgeous one from Costco (everything big and good is from Costco) and so when I was in high school she packed up the ceramic nativity scene she made and never used it again.
ok this will tie in- I promise
When I was about 10 or so, I found a box of salt and pepper shakers in my Mom's closet. Mom told me I could have the collection if I take good care of it- many of the salt and pepper shakers were old and had been passed down from her parents and grandparents. I decided to continue on with the collection and so for 3-4 years Mom and I got all “thrift store” giddy as we searched for rare and unique salt and pepper shakers. Well time passed, as it always does, and soon I wasn't so hot about salt and pepper shakers anymore. I was getting interested in other things and so eventually I packed up all my collection, labeled the boxes, and hauled them around with me for the rest of my life- until a week ago.
About a year ago, I finally came to know one of my mom's siblings. Her name is Aunt Linda. She lives near me. She is the aunt I have always wanted-especially growing up as a little girl. Mom's sickness kind of helped us get to know each other- Now I would say we are pretty close- close enough to where we eat dinner at her house a lot and I can tell her to her face "there is no way Chay is eating peas so don't even think about it"- that kind of close-if you know what I mean.
well I noticed when I was at her house for the first time that she liked to decorate with salt and pepper shakers. She had them everywhere. I thought of the boxes of salt and pepper shakers in my basement rotting away and I knew she would just love to have those- especially since many of them were from her parents and family. But I selfishly thought, "those salt and pepper shakers were given to me by Mom...and they remind me of her"
well time passed again and something inside me changed and I decided that the salt and pepper shakers needed to be loved and appreciated...and out of my basement. so one day last week I just up and gave the boxes of salt and pepper shakers to Aunt Linda- and she was so thrilled. As I was helping her unwrap each set from old newspaper, a ceramic camel fell into my hands. I kind of did the gasp thing. Joette was with me. "Is this a camel from our old nativity scene? I must have packed this up for Mom...like 12 years ago!" As we searched through the crumpled up newspaper, we found more and more pieces of the nativity scene...and then we found the manger...and then of course the bright yellow plastic baby Jesus.
Finding this nativity scene was a miracle to my aching heart. It was an unexplainable connection to my mother who I miss so very much. Joette and I started to cry of course. We held some of the ceramic pieces in our hands and our minds traveled quickly back to childhood- and to those many Christmases Mom made so special for us year after year. In our tears, I turned one of the ceramic pieces over (I think it was Mary actually) and simply engraved on the bottom were the letters 'EDK'. Every single piece had my mom's name engraved on the bottom. My mom's name is Edie Kaye but she always signed her art work 'EDK'. I felt my mom’s love and presence at that very moment. It was her Christmas gift to me this year.
So it may not be the nativity scene and manger I would normally pick to decorate with but it is so beautiful to me in many different ways- I just cherish it. I really do.
Thank you Mom.