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Time to Enjoy the Good

Story ID:6632
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2010
Person:Me
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I remember many beautiful things about Christmas, but like most people, there are
memories associated with Christmas I wish I could forget. They are the thorns on my
rose.

The following are my bad memories. Instead of dwelling on them ever again,
I’m going to do the healing thing, and write them down. They’ll be out of my head and
gone. It’s time to let go and be happy.

Christmas as a child was stressful. Dad usually drank too much and was cranky.
There were arguments and the fear Mum would leave. We stayed away from dad as much
as possible,

At 21, I worked two hundred and fifty miles from home. The company I worked
for was a twenty-four-hour telecommunications business. My scheduled required me to
work over Christmas. There was no way for me to get home. I was alone that year for the
first time.

People remember the policemen, firemen and health care employees who work on
Christmas, but there are many more people who have to work on the big day. They
include taxi drivers, transportation employees, telecommunication and military personnel
and many more. After that first year away for Christmas, I think of them all and give
thanks.

I married, had children, and still worked shift work in telecommunications. Many
years my shifts included Christmas and New Years Eve. It was my way of life. In 1998, I
worked twelve hour shifts. My schedule had me working 8 AM to 8 PM on Christmas
Eve and Christmas Day. Georgia’s sister, Terry, came for Christmas that year. She
lived in Montreal, Quebec and we lived in Saint John, New Brunswick (Both in Canada).
I came home at 8:30 PM on Christmas Eve to find Georgia, Terry and our two kids eating
lobster that Terry bought. I surveyed the table, smiled, and said, “Lobster! My favorite!”

Georgia looked up, wiped butter from her chin and said, “Michael, we didn’t
get you one. We figured you’d already eaten at the office.”

I stared at them in shock, left the room and I tried to watch television, but my
mind was on lobster – the one I didn’t have. Without saying a word to anyone, I turned
the television off and went to bed. There were tears of hurt in my eyes that night, as I
went to sleep.

The next morning, Christmas Day, I woke, showered and got ready for work, but
before I left, I waited for the children to open their gifts. They looked at me, “But daddy,
we’re waiting for aunt Terry to get up before we open our gifts.”

I opened my gifts and left for work without seeing my kids open theirs.

A year later, we had our first Christmas in Ohio. Terry was no longer with us. She
became a victim of William Patrick Fyfe, a serial killer in Montreal. There were a few
happy Christmas’ after that, and then one year I decorated the Christmas tree alone.
Georgia had joined her sister in Heaven.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Patrick_Fyfe

A year later, I had Ginny in my life. We’ve celebrated six loving and warm
Christmas’ together. She knows about the bad ones I’ve had and makes an effort to keep
ours together special.

I’ve written the bad times down. They’re out and over with. I’m at peace with
them. It’s time to enjoy the good.

Michael T. Smith