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"Lost in The Family Woodpile" © Rolly A. Chabot

Updated on December 15, 2013


Spring has arrived, or at least it is what we would like to think. Today is bright, warm and clear and the sun is melting the road surfaces, and that is a blessing. I will be on the road tomorrow to the beautiful State of Montana for a day or so, and the road conditions are a welcome sight in comparison to what we have seen recently.

Take up a place somewhere in the gathering and make your self at home, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and some goodies. I ask you to take a blessing with you and if you like leave one behind. Above all know that you are dearly loved and treasured here at the Fireside.

Family Gatherings


Joyful or Sorrowful

Today I would like to share a few thoughts about the gathering of families over the Christmas season. I follow many blogs, posts and status updates on Facebook and here on Hub Pages on the subject of gathering with friends and family. It is of course a pleasure to gather and share the old stories, tales of escapades and ventures into the past of what used to be growing up. Laughter sounding itself throughout the room with such memories, as they are brought back. It is a time of love, hopefully a time of forgiveness, a time to renew the love, and especially family unity.

There is also the other side of the story of the past hurts, the pain of words spoken, and attempts to reconcile differences. Far to often they are not to happen, that is so sad as it is meant to be a celebration. The celebration can mean many things to each of us. For me of course, it is the time of year where I reflect on the birth of Jesus. Sadly the commercialization of what it seems to have become is an entirely different topic.

What I would like to share today is the fact, this can be a very difficult time for many of us. We all have our own reason. Some reasons we understand and others we do not. For me, it is a reflection of a few words I spoke in 2006 to a family member. Those few words changed the dynamics of what was once a wonderful time to gather.



Try and try as you may

Those few words spoken in defence of my self and others have come at a great cost. Oh how I regret speaking them as they have cost me dearly and divided our family. Even though I have made several attempts to seek forgiveness, the response has been the same for as many years. "What ever," is what I have heard. And "That is in the past." Yet I question if it really is because of the distance which remains even though the door has been left open.

Sadly I think it is where many of us find ourselves, and it does hurt and it leaves us with the feelings of being detached from all family functions. Milestones in the lives of those we love and care for, birthdays, retirements, Christmas and the many other events which are important.

One might say I have to come to the place of accepting where I find myself. Can I forgive, certainly and I certainly have. The pain though remains, I made a conscious choice a few years back to only step aside and allow time to heal the wounds. Hopefully the forgiveness take place before we as a family has to gather again for another family emergency or a funeral.

What a waste of our limited time here on earth to think we have some unfinished business which requires our immediate attention or the attention of another whom we love. It would be so special to be able to download all the past into this USB device and simply erase it from memory. I yearn for that to be so true.... But


Never Is

If you have something which needs to be spoken, I highly encourage you to do so. Speak genuine forgiveness from the heart. The way it is received is left to those intended. If it is not received then we need to move on rather than be held captive in the grasp of another's issues. You have done your best, and it is all you can do. To receive the forgiveness of another it needs to be genuine and not simply brushed off with a pat answer. It needs to come from the heart.

To be held captive by another is a terrible place to live, withholding love is not the answer. About all, it will come from it is you will be caught up in a world of anger and frustration. It is not the way we are called to live. There are many in the world today who cry out for love.

I close with a blessing of love to each and everyone of you, may you find peace in your heart this coming season. Know that you are dearly loved here in this place, we gather called the Fireside.


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    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Apology means we do need to sometimes swallow our pride, sometimes accept partial blame for what is not ours just to keep the peace. I have done this several times over the years.

      I did this recently and it came back and bit me in the proverbial butt. One has to stop and consider where others are, if it is unhealthy then I choose to move on...

      Hugs and Blessings

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Spring? We are about as far from Spring as we can get! However, your hub proves hope springs eternal. We have a fracture in our family, hard to say who is to blame and what the cause is but I apologized just to try to heal the wound.

      Hope it is lovely in Alberta and you're enjoying the weather and a bit of peace. Love from New York.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and intersting.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Oh, Rolly....YOU didn't make me cry.......Some of her friends, call Brave Warrior, "Sha".......I believe it's short for Shanna!.......Her story brought a tear to my eyes....and I normally don't cry very easily, so obviously, it touched my heart!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Christy...

      Thanks for stopping at the Fireside... I hope you found the M&M's... the jar on the mantle that has your name on it is all yours... forgiveness is all important any time of the year...

      Hugs and Blessings from Alberta

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Audra..., Thanks for the visit and your kind words... great to chat a little the other day... busy time for you both...

      Hugs and Blessings

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Mr. Archer... thank you for the comment and the well wishes dring this a great time of year... good to have you at the fireside and look forward to getting into reading some of your work... heading ver your way... have the coffee in...

      Blessings from this home to yours.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi fpherj48... awe a special hug from the Fireside to you and welcome to the gathering... sorry about the tears.

      It is a shame when we think of all the loss we suffer, sometimes we ar too late in finding the peace we seek.

      Truly sad when we are left to the resource of having to leave a voice mail greeting at this time of year to those we love and a simple card that states thinking of you and of course adding the word love... hard to think of either as being brushed off...

      Hugs to you and yours and please come back and spend some time

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi imkarn23... Sadly I do agree with you and yet I do believe we are called to stand our ground when it comes to personal or other motives which attack the credibility of people.

      I have come to a place of where hearing the words "whatever" have a true meaning and that being forget it... from there it become a cool relationship with the niceties. Until it can be spoken of and true forgiveness is granted then it remains a fracture. The best we can do is move forward. Sadly it still hurts...

      Hugs and Lotsa love

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Kim... Thank you for reading and yes understanding... Itis difficult to imagine a fracture in a relationship even though attempts have been made to repair them.

      The Fireside... well I like to think it a place where we can all gather and let ourselves be real and true to our feelings. Maybe the few words I share touch a eart and if so then I have been blessed...

      Hugs and Blessings during the Christmas Season and more...

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi sallieannluvslife.... First of course is to give you a warm welcome to the Fireside... so good to have you stop and say hello.

      Sadly I think many if not most families have fractures, hurts and pains. To leave them unspoken and not dealt with is yet another reminder of what they do... it leaves us lonely and sadly often having a feeling of being incomplete...

      Hugs on His Birthday... may we all celebrate as one.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      To rejoice in these holidays in what the season is about. To temporarily settle our differences for a short time sand become a family unit, is important is all aspects. Then we can agree to disagree. So be it.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Almost everyone at some time regrets words that have been spoken in anger - often to a loved one. We can forgive but it is difficult to forget. Blessings to you, Rolly, at this holiday season.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What a beautiful post, Rolly. You offer many wise words at this time of the year... forgiveness is so important and I am glad we both practice it. Do take care, and chat soon xx

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      Thinking of you through your words! Hope to talk soon :))))

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Profound words my friend. Your words show others what we need to do for ourselves and our loved ones. Simply wonderful message here.

      Merry Christmas to one and all.


    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      This is a wonderful fireside chat, Rolly.......I'm glad I stopped by. Your words stir many a memory, both happy and sad. Time just continues to pass....with or without us....the question we may want to ask ourselves is, "What is it I wish to hold nearest & dearest my heart, for the remainder of my days upon this earth?" made me cry!.................Wishes of Peace & Love, Paula UP+++

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      I love you my friend. From the heart. I feel your pain as real as if it were my own.

      BUT - what you fail to communicate to your loyal readers is that those few words you spoke in anger - were spoken in defence of your good wife's name!

      Asking forgiveness and getting a 'whatever' from the person who uttered unnecessary nasty words to begin with - indicates other forces at work.

      Immaturity. Jealousy. Mean spiritedness. Shall i go on...sigh..

      I am one of those who does not enjoy 'the holidays' - whatever that means any more.

      It seems to bring out the worst in people - cloaked in bright lights, glitter, and gifts!


      (and HUGS)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Rolly, this is the second hub I've read today that speaks to where I am in my life at this very moment.

      Yesterday I called my dad to apologize for something I had done when I was in 6th grade. It was a selfish, disrespectful act. Although my dad has supported and loved me all my life (I'm now 56) in spite of my hateful acts, this particular display of hurtful behavior has haunted me all my life.

      Dad accepted my apology and claimed he doesn't remember all the details, but I want no regrets. I needed to atone for my selfishness. Dad said he understood why I did what I did at the time, but that is still no excuse for me hurting him. I feel better now and I think he was proud that, although it took over 40 years for me to acknowledge my mean and spiteful actions, I felt the need to apologize.

      It will be a Merry Christmas, indeed - with no pain in my heart thanks to Dad's forgiveness.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina


      I love the conversational nature of your fireside chats. You speak about something we have all faced at sometime or the other. The holidays seem to exacerbate these unhealed wounds. I believe your idea is the best. Ask and Show forgiveness. I also enjoyed your musical selection very much--very appropriate.

      Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Blessings Every Day!


    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 4 years ago from Eastern Shore

      I can relate to exactly what you are saying....our family is "fractured" by past harsh words and misunderstandings but we cannot change other people or force them to put family first even if we is a difficult thing when some want only to be together and others want only to hold on to past grievances. Merry Christmas to you....happy celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Faith Reaper ... same back to you and yours, may the Christmas season be filled with love and great joy... special blessings coming from Canada to your home...

      Blessings as always

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Peace and love to you too dear Rolly.

      Up and more and sharing

      God bless you. Merry Christmas,

      Faith Reaper