It’s Christmas Eve, Eve and my mind is full.

There comes a time in everyone’s life, I assume, when you start having real compassion for old people. At some point you can actually imagine yourself being there, and realize it comes a lot sooner than you ever had thought before.  Their wrinkles don’t seem quite as deep, their hair quite as white, and it seems very comfortable to imagine moving at the pace that they do, because they’ve earned it.

I don’t really know what any of this has to do with Santa, other than I feel like I am getting older – almost 40 in a few years – and Christmas will begin to take on another shape sooner than later.  I remember being the little girl that sat on my Grandpa’s leg and telling him what I wanted for Christmas.  I loved the red stockings with white fur that hung on the reindeers antlers for us.  I treasured every last piece of candy in my stocking, because we didn’t get candy very often – even the sugar free ones that were carefully selected for my diabetic brother.

The 23rd of December is a big day for me.  Not because it’s almost Christmas, alone, but because it’s the day that I let myself miss my Grandpa.  He died on December 23rd, 16 years ago, but it seems like only a few short years ago I was laying in bed with him watching cartoons.  I miss him more than I ever thought I would miss a Grandparent when they were gone.  I compare it to my kids, and wonder if they will have the same kind of bond with their Grandparents when they die.  I wonder how he became so close to my heart, enough that when I realized I was pregnant for the first time, I went and personally told him – even though it was really hard.

Maybe that’s what all this old age thinking is about.  It’s the realization that I could be a Grandma all too soon, and I will have the chance to be that kind of Grandparent, that makes a difference in my grandkids lives.  Will I have as much to share?  Will I take the time as my Grandpa did?  I hope so.  Because he had a major impact on me my whole life.  I feel so grateful to have had such a role model.

I also love his wife, my Grandma more every year.  I have gotten to know her more after my Grandpa passed away.  She is the strong supportive type.  She stood by his side, and gave everything she had to her children and husband.  She is even keel and sweet – with a kick.  She is on Facebook and communicates with all of us however she can.

Tonight, I didn’t mean to cry when we sang my Grandpa’s song at our family party.  I thought I was tougher than that.  I got the first sentence out, and then the tears fell.  I guess I only let myself really think about it once a year, so it’s hard to hold it in.  I guess it’s okay.  Crying is the way our soul expresses emotions that are too big for words.  It means we care, and I do.  Christmas was my Grandpa’s favorite time of year, and I usually remember him with laughter and fun stories, but every once in a while, I let it in.

My kids are at such a fun age.  Sydo is a few years married.  Kinley has a few years until she leaves for college, all the way down to Jordan at age three – almost four.  We are blessed.  We are busy, crazy, try to keep up with our lives, feelings, activities, homework, school, kind of blessed.

And someday, I’ll be the Grandparent – and Great Grandparent.  I will be handing out five dollar cards to my many crazy offspring.  I will sit and watch as they run around me in circles.  I will be the one killing bugs with a cane, like my Grandma does.  I will laugh and cry and read lots of really good, or not so good, books.  I will be friends with each of my grandkids, and show them how amazing they are.  I will hold them and peel oranges and ask how school is going.  And when they tell me that they can’t wait until they are older, to be able to drive and date – I will remind them that time flies fast enough on it’s own, and not to wish away one single day, because that’s what my Grandpa Gourley taught me, and he was right.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Enjoy every minute of this crazy time of year.  Don’t wish away one minute of your time!