Many years ago we were sitting in church with our friends during the Christmas season. It was a special evening program for all ages and our oldest son, at the time about 8 years old, was telling us that earlier that day the children had all made Christmas cards for the pastor of our very large church.
When the pastor came out he was holding a card in his hand at which our son said excitedly, “Hey, the pastor has my card! I can tell by the drawing I did on the back of it!” We were to discover our pastor had decided to start the evening service with a little humor. He advised the congregation that the children had all given him Christmas cards after morning service and he was hoping that they would enjoy one card in particular. None of us had any idea what he had written, so he began:
“Roses are red, violets are blue, it’s snowing outside and in here too!”
To which there were gales of laughter. At the time I sort of laughed but was more mortified than amused. My friend sitting right next to me could not stop giggling for the longest time. Even when the service started, I could see her body shaking in the laughter she kept trying to stifle, then I started giggling as well. We were both trying to keep our composure while the sermon was being preached. We kept setting each other off. I don’t remember when we finally managed to get it together and put our attention back on God! After the evening program I tried to explain to my confused son why everyone had such a good laugh at his expense.
I have pretty much been on my own when I’m sick. I know to keep certain things on hand “just in case.” You know, sick food. I never take any over the counter meds for colds or flu. Just some chicken soup, Jewish penicillin, bread for toast and tea. People from dysfunctional homes are usually on their own in these cases, even as children.
This was about the last time I had help when I was seriously ill. It was Christmas time 1958, I was seven, and I had just lost my dear Aunt Ruth. I sometimes wonder if I became deathly ill after she died so I could join her in heaven. I was just getting over Scarlet Fever and was still so ill I didn’t even care it was Christmas time, even though it was my favorite time of year. I can still remember the torturous feeling of being picked up, carried and being propped in a chair, suffering and delirious with fever but my parents insisted I should be with the rest of the family whether I wanted to be there or not and with no thought to the other children getting it. They just told them to “stay away from me.” From this picture, I don’t think they had to be told.
Me looking more like Dracula’s daughter than a child at Christmas.
I believe this act actually saved my life because I could feel I was trying to slip away from this world. Anyone who’s ever been seriously ill knows what I’m speaking of. I’ve had major surgeries and very ill at other times, even to the point of hospitalization, but this was something different. This was a feeling of complete detachment and readying of my spirit to go home.
I create all kinds of odd things on whims. I start thinking about an idea or a concept of something that we have a problem with as people and away I go!
This was meant to try to be funny and real. I was thinking about how many people would be crabbing about their wet presents if a fish were to go out of it’s way to try to save Christmas, even though the only way it could would be to do everything underwater. People would get what they wanted, but everything would be wet and probably ruined. Would you still appreciate the fish that tried to deliver it to you?
Think about it. How grateful is your heart and does everything have to be perfect before you are?