As I write this it is the afternoon of Christmas Eve. As a kid I loved this day. Every Christmas Eve Mom, Dad and myself would go to to the Czekalinski home in Parma, Ohio. It was always a lot of fun filled with Polish and Catholic tradition. We would eat downstairs. It was a “poor man’s meal.” Sole was the fish. We ate on a huge table that was covered by a table cloth and underneath was a complete bale of straw spread out evenly. At the end of the meal everyone reaches under the table cloth and pulls out a piece of straw. If you had one with a lot of flowers on it, legend had it that you would enjoy the upcoming New Year. Grandpa and Uncle Ralph now had a few glasses of wine in them and they started singing Christmas songs in Polish My Aunt and Grandma just rolled their eyes and my Dad just shook his head and laughed. Now it was time to go upstairs and open gifts!!!! Finally….what Christmas is all about.
I was an only child and the first grandchild. I was showered with gifts and it was never enough. Surely there has to be MORE???? Well I was right with one exception. It wouldn’t be found in a box with a bow on it. Life moves fast my friends. Life is always changing. Mom and Dad got divorced when I was thirteen. People took sides. There was no more Christmas Eve at the Czekalinski’s. Grandpa got cancer after that. He suffered a lot and eventually died. I grew to HATE Christmas. It reminded me of how happy I used to be. In my adult life I continued to look for that feeling I had every Christmas Eve. I would just throw “money” at a bunch of gifts for people thinking that would at least bring THEM happiness. I continued to be miserable.
I’m a Christian. Make fun of me if ya want. If you knew me, there are MANY things about me that you can ridicule. I really don’t care. Christmas is the birthday of a man that died for us so that we may experience eternal life. I won’t bang the bible. Anyone can do that. It’s subjective. You can pick and choose a quote to support any cause. Try this. Look around. Nature is kind of a cool place. Where did it all begin? Some will say “The Big Bang Theory.” Okay….I’ll give ya that. Who made the big bang?
I’m just seeing this now. I’m fifty-five years old and lived my life a hundred miles an hour with my hair on fire. I have no idea why I am alive. I was in a coma for five days in September of 2015 because I was doing bad things to numb myself. This isn’t about me. I only put myself into this story to show you it is never too late. Christmas is the birthday of Jesus. Jesus is not flash. Jesus is all about faith. What you do with my story is up to you. Thanks for reading. Merry Christmas.