Saturday, December 06, 2014

December Daily 5 ~ For the Love of Grandpa Don, Ellie's Gift

One of the wonderful things about parenting is witnessing what our children are like in the world, how he/she blossoms with his/her own version of love. Friday evening I was privileged to witness such an act of love from Ellie to her Grandfather that I am in awe of her. Grandpa Don continues to grow stronger each day. He has been home from the hospital for about a week and a half. Ellie mentioned to me one night that in the time of crisis (which this is for Don and ourselves) people tend to just focus on the essential. But, she points out, it is the small joys that make life worth living.

Indeed Grandpa Don has Ethan at his house making sure that he can walk safely, that he remembers to eat and drink, that he takes his medicine. The holiday season is upon us and that was Grandma Eleanor's season. She worked in a green house and one of her chief duties was to put up and decorate all of the trees that displayed the ornaments, the lights, the bling. Some years there were upwards of 20+ trees that she would decorate; it often took an entire month to decorate them all. Then she lovingly picked out a real tree for herself and decorate it at home, as if it was the very first and most important one of the season.
{Here is the last Christmas tree that Eleanor decorated. I am so happy that I was able to find a picture of it.}

Over the years Ellie went from watching her grandmother decorate the tree to helping her. This year Ellie has been in charge of decorating our and yesterday she put up and decorated a tree for Grandpa Don. It simply would not be Christmas at his house without one. So, after school Ellie and Kohlton picked out a small tree and took it to Grandpa Don's house. After we had a family meal together, I put the lights on the tree.
Then Ellie and Kohlton decorated it. Choices had to be made since the tree is little. Ellie talked about her favorite ornaments, the gold tinsel balls. Once the tree was done, they would toss them at the tree.
Grandpa Don reminded Ellie that Angie needed to find her way to the top of the tree and have a light added to her hands.
Ellie and I made sure that each of the favorite ornaments made it onto the tiny tree. She also decorated in other parts of the house.
I had hoped to get a picture of Grandpa Don and Ellie in front of the finished tree, but by the time it was all done, Grandpa was too tired to stand up. However, he was not too tired to tell me stories, so I listened to stories about the ornaments and how they had taken everything, including all of the Christmas ornaments, with them when they moved to England, and then back to America again. He told me about the house that was so drafty that the tiny, painted ceramic bells actually tinkled. I thought of her and her stories that she would tell each year as she would pluck a beloved ornament from the storage box and find a perfect place on the tree for it. Decorating the tree, as close to Eleanor fashion as we can, makes me feel connected to her, even though she has been gone for so many years now.

I include the videos below because they make me feel connected to some of the things we enjoyed when our kids were small. I hope you enjoy them, too.

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