What Matters The Most

 

Christmas Tree Home

 

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year. I honestly  look so forward to it….not for the gifts or the shopping and all of the hoopla. It’s a magical time of year for friends, family, and thoughtfulness. This picture above is of our Christmas tree. I could sit and stare at it for hours. Each ornament has a story behind it. Sure, it’s cluttered and nothing really matches and there’s really no theme at all but it’s a sum of places we’ve been, gifts from family and friends, pictures, even Christmas cards from our loved ones.

As you can see there are gifts under the tree but mostly just for the children in our family…nieces, nephews, and little cousins. It feels as if the older I get the more commercialized Christmas is. My very dear best friend Rhonnie reminded me of that this morning when we were texting each other. The trees are up in stores before Halloween. It’s insane how much they push the gift purchasing, commercials, black Friday and so forth.

Isn’t Christmas about Jesus being born and spending time with loved ones and cherishing these special moments? Of course, I understand Santa Claus and the children sitting in his lap and so excited for Christmas morning. But, what about reading the true story of Christmas to the children and how we celebrate Jesus being born? What about also telling them the story of Twas The Night Before Christmas? Those are the things I remember most about my childhood Christmas’s. Not the dolls, games, candies, etc that I received. It was the moments of reading those stories with my family or chasing my brother around the tree.

This year my mother and I decided we wouldn’t exchange gifts. She said it’s about our love for each other. She’s also had a rough year financially and is having to support my brother…(long story). Anyway, I decided to take my friend Jean’s advice on a Thank You letter to my Mom. You can check out her blog about a Christmas Letter To Her Dad here on this link  https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/19162911/12396

My Thank You letter will be my gift to her. I’m thanking her for being in labor with me for over 24 hours and giving birth to a 9 lb 10 oz baby girl. The struggle was real for my Mom don’t you agree? My Dad wasn’t even there to be by her side. Instead he was shooting pool in some shady bar and then later said he “hit a deer” on the way to the hospital. No proof of that or damage on the car by the way. Typical of my Dad. Anyway, the point is that I want my Mom to have a sentimental Christmas gift straight from my heart. I am so blessed for all she did for me and my brother growing up. I want to thank her for that.

The meaning of Christmas to me is counting my blessings, thankfulness of every single thing in my life. Reaching out to family and friends and telling them how much they mean to me. Christmas cards are my joy each year. I absolutely LOVE receiving them. In fact, today I reached out to each person that sent us a card and then sent them an e-mail thanking them for remembering us and how much it meant to us to hear from them.

To me, that’s what Christmas is about. I don’t want anything for Christmas. I have all I could EVER need. I’ve informed my hubby DO NOT buy me anything whatsoever. I will be livid if he does. Just having him in my life is my gift.

I hope all of you have a very Merry & Bright Christmas. Remember those that you care about and love and let them know what they mean to you.

XO

 

 

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Gorgeous Sweet Soul

unexpected

Today I had the pleasure of meeting a customer face to face that I’ve been doing business with for a few years via phone conversations and e-mails. Most of you know I work with a lot of men. The type of industry I’m in is mostly male dominated. When truck drivers, industrial technicians, road mechanics, etc. call in they’re a bit shocked that a female is selling parts. I think sometimes it’s a southern thing possibly? Who knows.

Believe it or not some ask to speak to a man in parts and do not want to speak to me thinking because I’m a “Girl”, “Chic”, “Woman”, etc. that I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to parts. Little do they know that I know a lot, I mean A LOT about industrial equipment. I’ve been doing it for over fifteen years now. I dream about alternators, bearings, starters, chains, torque spec’s. It’s my career, this is what I’m paid to know dudes. Give me a break. Anyway…..

This customer today that I met FINALLY was one of “those guys” that gave me a hard time at first. He’s always been gruff and rough with me and very straight to the point. We’ve never talked personal about our lives or even had a weather conversation. I know nothing about him and he knows nothing about me. Strictly business.

When we met eyes the first thing I noticed as I shook his hand was how kind his eyes were. He had a gray beard equivalent to one of those bearded Duck Dynasty guys. He also had three long strands of that beard that were about 2 ” longer than the actual beard. They were braided and a lighter color than the rest of the beard.  He had glasses and a baseball cap on with jeans and was a stout fellow around the age of 45 – 50 possibly. I told him how excited I was to finally meet him and put the face with the voice and all.

He said to me “I used to not look this way. I used to be clean cut and cared about what I looked like. You see a few years ago I lost my thirteen year old son. I found him dead in his bed from playing the choking game.” At this moment he began to tear up. I began to tear up as he was telling me this tragic story. He told me that the reason why he’s grown out his beard and has the braids is for his son. He didn’t want to look the same after his son passed away. He wanted to change his looks and the braids represent his son. He said every time he’s sitting in traffic or sitting anywhere he can run his hands along the braids to think of his son. The grief I saw in this man’s eyes shook my core. I hugged him and told him how deeply sorry I was that he lost his son and how I thought growing his beard out and the braids I’m sure would make his son smile. He gave me the biggest hug after I said that, a bear hug.

I had always had the impression that he was just a grouchy, egotistical, mean, crusty old guy that didn’t like women. When all along he had so much heartbreak and sadness in his life that had changed him. It had nothing to do with me and he’s not a mean crusty guy at all.

His heart has been broken and it changed him. We never know what someone else has been through. It’s sad that I immediately judged him and put him in my mental folder as one of “those guys” that didn’t like women in this business. What a gorgeous sweet soul he is. My heart goes out to him for what he’s been through.

I feel like we have a connection now. I don’t know really why he felt comfortable enough to share his sons story with me. I just know that I hugged him as hard as I could.

It just goes to show that we never know what someone else has been through or is going through. He touched my heart.

Makes me appreciate my family and friends and all of you so much. Hug your loved ones and let them know how much you love them.

XO