#6...Rich with Loveby Laurie Henderson on 12/20/15
It is the third Sunday of December, the day after another Christmas Party on the farm, in the year of 2015, it is December 20th, my father's 90th birthday. He passed away in 1998 but a day hasn't passed that I haven't seen or felt him with me. I am the youngest and the only girl of four children. My brothers are 7, 9, and 12 years older than me but we were and still are a tight family. My memories of my father are filled with humorous and jocular, hardworking and fastidious, but mostly kind and loving images in the context of life with our mother throughout the years conducting the simple activities of keeping a household and raising a family.
We were not wealthy people but one of my favorite sayings to my own family is that we are "Rich with Love"...that is how my father (and mother) made me feel. It was the simple things he would do and say that embodied that sentiment. Like those amazing hot fudge sundaes he would "build" for each of us in the most spectacular sundae glass with the care of a craftsman. He always made me feel like I was perfect just the way I was and that his love was unconditional. I know I was not the only person he made feel that way. He had that same sentiment for everyone he came in contact with.
My father was not a large statured man but he certainly knew how to get things done and you were certain to do what he asked of you, mostly because you did not want to disappoint him. I remember him always lighting up the room with his amicable smile followed by kind or funny words, at times pointed at my mother,we would all have a good laugh. As we all got older and started to have our own families he was the one who would rock the babies and play with the grand kids.
I cherish everyday but mostly the Holidays because it is a time to reflect on family memories, make new memories, and to treat other's with the kindness and unconditional love our Heavenly Father has for us.
So, on December 20th, I say Happy Birthday to my father and thank him for being the loving and giving man who filled my heart with enough love to pass on to my children in the hopes they will cherish the simple things in life and unconditionally love the people they build a family with.
During the Holidays my advice would be to "let go" of the unrealistic expectations you have placed on yourself and to remember your loved ones mostly want to build memories with you. Keep it simple, real, and filled with palatable pleasures to look back on and build family traditions on....Maybe you could start by getting some sundae glasses and start building an ice cream memory of your own.