We did not have "Christmas" with my extended family until January 2nd because earlier in December, we lost my grandmother. My mom's mom. Many people called her Thelma or Ms. Nash and a few called her Grandma, but most in our family called her Mama Nash.
This pic was taken just a couple weeks before she passed
She was 96 and well loved and well cared for by my uncle and his family primarily. The first treasure is not just our time together with all the Nash's to remember Mama Nash, but the things I heard for the first time....
...like my mom telling me what a good mom Mama Nash was, especially during my mom's teen years. I have heard my mom talk about growing up with her brothers, not having much, not feeling pretty as a young girl, but hardly anything about her mom.
"...especially in my teen years."
That was a gift to hear.
And I wonder if mom thought Mama Nash was a good mom while she was still a teen...or if she realized it later. I'll have to ask!
Treasure #2 came Christmas Eve when Jeremy's family came over after the Christmas Eve service and we sat around our living room and patio and talked, and watched the Texans, and skyped with his brother on the other side of the planet. Gathering. Eating. Talking and listening and laughing. These simple things were gifts for my soul.
Treasure #3 happened New Year's Eve. We attempted to have a party but friends had plans already so my 4 girls ended up going elsewhere with friends for the night and Jeremy got tickets to the Rockets for the boys, which left me at home....ALONE....for FIVE HOURS.
Five whole hours where I did not have to answer a question or help anyone or fix supper and answer the question of "what's for supper?" So I ate chocolate cake and cheese bread for dinner and made myself sit on the couch and watch a movie. It was lovely. A treasure for this introvert who has had people at home 100% of the time the past 2 weeks.
I think my brother meant it as a rhetorical question in his dissertation but my mom just casually drops "glyphosate" as if this is an everyday conversation. I looked around the table and was probably the only one in awe but my goodness. Who knows the first ingredient in Roundup??
I think that is amazing and hilarious and makes my mom precious. Treasure.
These small things--gathering, eating (even Chinese takeout), quiet NYE, glyphosate--helped me get through another hard Christmas.
You may be wondering why Christmas is hard, especially when you read my previous post and see our beautiful family pics (thanks to Hannah at MHW Photography). I can't really begin to describe the layers to it, but it has to do with loss, broken families, expectations, disappointment.
What was once my favorite time of the year, so much so that we chose to get married in December and give our daughter the middle name Noel, is (for now) a time I mostly endure and seek treasures in the midst of grief. Even the smallest treasures.