Hi. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may all the blessings of the season be upon you. My name is Lynda, and I’ll be your guest blogger today. I was asked to blog about my favorite memory of this holiday…I have so many wonderful memories. I remember as a kid, the anticipation that Christmas Eve brought; finding the secret hiding places where my mom and dad kept all the treasures my brothers and I would open on that magical morning; the midnight services at the church we attended with the sanctuary bathed and glowing in the soft, muted illumination of candlelight; sleeping under the tree in hopes of catching Santa Claus—and to this day, I love to view my home illuminated with only candlelight and the glow of hundreds of tiny lights on the Christmas tree—the look of pure wonderment when my kids were little and they would stagger into the living room Christmas morning and see the tree surrounded by all the gifts that Santa Claus had brought; snuggled on the couch with my best friend and husband as we watch It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve; laughing riotously with my dad the first time we ever watched A Christmas Story; watching all the classic Christmas specials with my grand-children…
But, my most poignant memory of all happened when my oldest grandchild was just two years old. Her parents were going through a rather difficult time personally and their coping mechanisms involved illegal drugs and alcohol. It had reached the point where my husband and I knew we had to take legal measures to protect our grand-daughter. It was not a conclusion we had reached lightly or a step we took quickly. We were told by our attorney and we knew that our odds of gaining guardianship of that precious little girl were very slim, even though we had been granted temporary, emergency guardianship.
A protracted legal battle ensued and even though we did everything we could to shield that little one, she was still being used by her parents in an ugly manner. More than once I rocked her to sleep, assuring her that her mommy did love her and we were not going to steal her from her daddy, contrary to what he had told her. I cannot count the tears I dried from her little face because she had been told by mommy that daddy was going to take her away from all of us and that we didn’t love her, we only wanted to hurt mommy by keeping her from her mommy. Anger does not begin to express what I felt for the childish manner my daughter and her significant other emotionally abused that little girl.
A week before Christmas, we had a final court date. The judge refused to allow any more continuances requested by either parent. Before court began that morning, I asked both parents, in the unlikely event we were granted permanent guardianship of their daughter, if they would please join us Christmas morning—to be there before she woke up to share that moment of wonderment and amazement at all the treasures Santa brought during the night. Both parents said they would think about it, but they were both certain one of them would have custody of the child.
At the end of the day, we were granted permanent guardianship. And, neither parent was there Christmas morning. Just my husband and I were there to see the amazement on her little face.
After several years, I have seen how my daughter has put her addictions behind her. I have watched her grow into the woman I knew she can be, that I have always known she truly is—one who loves her children very much, one who would never harm her children in any manner (and I can only guess how deeply distressed she is by the ill-thought-out things she said to her child during that legal battle), and one who would take a bullet for either of her children. She is a strong, intelligent, beautiful woman.
And, for the first time in eight years, my grand-daughter won’t wake up on Christmas morning here. We terminated the guardianship this fall. This year, she will wake in her mother’s home and race to a tree with presents. It’s how it should be. Because now I can be “grandma” and spoil her rotten, as I’ve wanted to do from the moment she was born. I will make this Christmas my favorite memory of all.
Lynda J. Cox will tell anyone who will listen that she was born at least one hundred and fifty years too late, and most definitely in the wrong part of the country. She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana State University after earning her BA from the same university as a non-traditional student. (Think being old enough to be mom to 90% of the students in her freshman cadre.) She’s kept busy with two spoiled rotten house cats, a 30 plus year old Arabian gelding who has been nicknamed “Lazarus” for his ability in the later years of his life to escape death, and quite a few champion collies. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on the road, travelling to the next dog show. She loves to chat about books, the writing life, and the insanity which is called a “dog show” and can be reached through her Facebook page.
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