Milestones

Tonight marked another first for me. My Dad is in town, here to see my brother, sister in law and their kids, as well as Angel, the boys, and me. Jewish by birth, he has always celebrated Christmas with us. At first it was in very small ways, as he would tell us that Hannukah Harry came rather than Santa. Over the years his dedication to my mom led to a Christmas wonderland in her house, with the villages and carousels and decorations everywhere. Even putting lights on the house the last few years, something he said would never happen, then surprising her one year with the house fully decorated when they returned from their annual Cape Cod Thankgiving trip. She was so surprised and happy.

Last year, as you can imagine, Christmas was very subdued. I didn't even make it all the way there, as the boys and I got iced in somewhere in the middle of nowhere Indiana on Christmas night. The next morning, Dad got in his car and drove to us, where we had Christmas in the Fairfield Inn and Suites. This year, with Angel having the boys, I knew that a trip to his home was out of the question. So he came here, to Columbus.

It is not unusual to see him. He tries to see the boys at least once a month. So when he told me he was here, I asked what he wanted to do. The plan became he would come to my little apartment and the boys could open their gifts at that time. I was excited.

See, earlier this year on a trip to Illinois, he packed my car full of treasures from my Mom's Christmas collection. From her walk in the park scene to villages to the beautiful carousel, I set all of it up. There wasn't a ledge or counter or flat surface that didn't have some memory of her on it. When he came in and saw these things on display in my home, he was taken aback. I caught his eyes welling up but did not say a word, just tried to make him feel at home. I have a hunch he already did. We had dinner, and while he didn't eat, he sat with us as we did. We said best part, worst part, and Dad engaged the boys in conversation. It was dinner with my Dad in my home. Not at mine and Angel's, but mine alone. The first time that has ever happened. Another new, great memory I can file away this year. It has been a wonderful holiday season, and I could not ask for more.

Today also marks the 50th wedding anniversary for My Uncle Gene (see "The Pocketwatch") and Aunt Betty. They have always been such great people to be around, and I have a ton of memories wrapped up in reunions and trips to Grundy and so on. Congratulations to them, as they have had the kind of love for 50 years that most of us can only wish for.

Thank you all for the prayers. They are really appreciated.

Good Night All............................

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