What do these 5 things have in common? Well, I guess today’s date, and the title of this blog post give it away. Of course, they are all related to Christmas. But what does that mean exactly?
Well, here is my FB post from this morning that went with the picture of food:
PLATE OF FOOD
“This from a guy whose heart is heavy because he can't be with his granddaughters and family. Just some little something he "threw together". Wow. Can hardly wait for Christmas dinner! Thank you Robert!
I know people make fun of people that put what they're eating on FB, but look closer, feel deeper. That's not what I'm sharing here. I'm sharing love and connection. We are miles and miles away from home and family, and my friend really is grieving not being with his family, yet there is always, always something to be positive for and a way to give to others.
I have spent the morning reaching out and trying to connect with many of those in my life that keep me going every single day. I love my life AND I too am missing their actual hugZ vs virtual. Mixed blessings around the connections, so to speak. Then I get a knock at the back door and am handed a warm plate of good food by someone who just wanted to show love and care on Christmas morning.
So yeah, look deeper. That plate of food you make fun of represents a whole lot of love and well wishes to those we are missing today. Merry Christmas!!! XOXO”
And here’s the stories behind the other pics….
NONNI AND BENTLEY
I snuggled all morning with my furbabies. I know that’s not the same as the pitter-patter of little feet running to the Christmas tree, or being able to wake up all cuddly warm with a loved one under the covers, but these two darling beasts ARE my family, and I love them deeply. Spending a quiet, cold morning with them watching my every move and wanting nothing more in this world than to be right where they are – here with me – meant more to me than a million gifts under the tree. They are ancient. Our days together are numbered, and I treasure every minute.
Leslie, Cathy, Steve and Beverly all sent me cards, pics &/or a gift for Christmas. Thank you! Many other friends and family members called or sent snapchats, texts, IMs, videos, pictures, etc. Thank you! There are a million ways to stay in touch these days thanks to modern technology.
I get that a lot of people bemoan the fact that long held traditions, such as greeting cards and annual newsletters are waning, but great joy is to be had in celebrating the new. We also don’t do Pony Express anymore. At Thanksgiving, my friend Robert’s family passed the phone around the dinner table via Facetime. He was able to instantly connect with them and SEE them. Sure, it wasn’t the same as being there, but what a thrill that was! He couldn’t be there in person but he was still included in the family dinner and it lifted his spirits immensely. That is a gift and a miracle of these modern times - an immense gift and blessing.
I am so appreciative of my friends and family that keep me connected in their daily lives through snapchat, video, pics, skype, etc. Every event, every moment and each detail they share – from funny and trivial to the serious – keeps me in their heartspace. That is invaluable. It is why I maintain a blog and now a YouTube channel – connection. Like the reminder from a famous commercial …. You can put a price on a lot of things, but connection is priceless. Thank you to everyone in my life that takes time to include me through technology. It is often my life jacket out here.
A Special Note:
As I was writing this blog post, my BFF and earth angel Leslie sent me a picture of her girls getting in to their stockings this morning. She took time out of their Christmas morning to send me that and some other adorable, AWE-mazing photos!!! I cried. She shared the moment with me!! Then. Get this…. Then! …. They sent me a recording of them singing, “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and then (!) they all said, “We love you, Debra. We miss you!” I cried like a baby. No one had ever done anything like that for me before. I am blessed and I certainly receive a lot, every day in many ways, but THAT was special beyond belief. No amount of money in the world can give that kind of pleasure, love and joy. I am so blessed. And yes, loved. Thank you Leslie. I love you all too, very much.
THE RED SPACESHIP
I had a surprise visit from my friend Glenn yesterday. What a thrill! I got a text from another friend who saw his rig at a local business so I texted Glenn to tease him that you just can’t hide when you drive a red spaceship. The next thing I know he pulled up beside my rig! He, Robert and I had a great visit and the sun came out and the birds sang. No really, that literally happened. Haha. It had been raining all morning but the clouds broke and we were able to visit in the sunshine, and the birds did indeed sing. See? Corny, but true. And once again, I got to experience a priceless connection.
MY NEW LAPTOP
The season isn’t about gifts or money or any of those things. I know that. You know that. We all know that, but this gift was extra, extra special. My laptop is/was 9 years old. Yes, 9 years old. That is an antique in the world of technology, but it has served me well all these years. Until recently. A couple of keys get stuck, one didn’t work anymore at all, and she was beginning to spit and sputter on start up and shut down. Not a good sign. And, all of that is especially not a good sign when you are dependent on technology.
Before you wrinkle your nose at my use of the word “dependent” …. Yes, I am dependent on technology. I have a brain injury. My electronics keep me connected, and healthy. They have auto reminders, I track timelines, notes to and from my doctors, among a myriad of other things, and as I’ve already stated, I stay connected. I am able to do all of that on the road through my electronics and I was beginning to fear the loss of that.
In addition to writing, just for the sake of writing, I blog and now also maintain a YouTube channel. Those 3 things not only keep me connected, they serve as a creative outlet and are forms of processing that keep my brain active. I maintain that I can do it all because I get to stay in the quiet of my van. Even if I go to a library to use their computers, the distractions are too much for me. To think about my laptop dying was devastating for me.
Then a dear friend, who wants to remain anonymous, enters the picture and voila, I have a new laptop. No questions asked, no strings attached, he simply gave from his heart. Plus it’s a monster beast exquisite laptop extraordinaire that kicks ass! I’m just sayin’. It rocks! And my friend rocks. It’s not just a laptop. It’s a lifeline. Thank you anon. I truly, truly, truly am blessed.
THE REST OF THE STORY
I know a lot of people come down really hard on consumerism this time of year. But when giving (and receiving) comes from the heart, and connects hearts, that is the true gift – AND that can’t be bad. It’s not about the dollars spent or even the ones not spent. It’s about the people and the stories behind all of that. Look closer, feel deeper.
And lighten up on those that spend big bucks. Instead of being so quick to judge whether or not they are genuinely benevolent – look closer, feel deeper.
Offer someone a plate of food today, a phone call, a recording, a song, a text, a Skype session, Facetime, a visit, a hug, a laptop, a plane ticket, a car, a plane, a house – whatever! Just give and receive from the heart.
Remember those who are grieving because they can’t be with those they love, or they’ve lost loved ones and are mourning. Remember those who would give anything just to have the gift of interacting with another person. And, remember those who just want to be left alone until the Holidays are over. We’re all in this together. We are One. We’re just walking each other home.
Look closer, feel deeper. Merry Christmas.
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Thank you! See you down the road!