ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing

Christmas Memories With My Papaw

Updated on February 26, 2010

I grew up in a house with my mom, two sisters, and my step-father of whom did not like me very much. My mom married him when I was six and my sister was only three. He never really wanted much to do with me. He did, however, seem to like my younger sister okay. I always knew he wished I was not there. This was really tramatic for me growing up. The one and only thing that gave me hope and happiness was my grandparents. When I was still a young child, every year on Christmas Eve, I would anxiously await my grandparent's arrival. They would spend the night with us to be able to see us open our gifts on Christmas morning. I would stand at the window watching for them. When they pulled into the driveway, I would get a rush of excitement. There was nothing like that feeling. I would run out to meet them so happy to see them. They were just as happy to see me too. We would do our hugs and kisses for a minute and then gather up the food and presents they had brought and carry them into the house. By the time I finished putting all of the presents under the tree it was an amazing site. Presents where piled so high. I always knew they had brought me something good. I would go between the kitchen where mamaw and mom where cooking and sitting down next to my papaw in the living room. I was back and forth trying to absorb all the fun and excitement that I possibly could. Papaw would always bring a lot of fireworks he had bought for us. After supper, we would go outside with papaw and shoot them. Papaw would look up in the sky and ask us if we could find the little dipper and the big dipper stars. We would find them together. Then, all of a sudden, he would say he just spotted a red light in the sky. This would send us into an excitement frenzy. He would tell us that it might be Santa Claus circling our house and we better get in the bed so that he could deliver our presents. Of course we listened to him. If papaw thought that was Santa, then no doubt it was. Papaw was the smartest man in the world. We would put the mattress in the floor so we could all sleep with mamaw and papaw.  Me and my sisters and mamaw and papaw would all crawl in and try to go to sleep. But, sleep did not come fast. My sisters and I would be to excited to sleep so we would keep talking. Finally when we were exhausted with excitement, sleep would take over. The next thing we knew was mama standing in the door telling us to get up and see what Santa had brought us. I can not explain to you the excitement that would come over me at that point. It was almost debilitating. I could hardly stand up on my own. Papaw would help me up and guide me to the hallway. He was always there to help me when I needed him. Christmas morning was great. Paper was thrown everywhere. We had bows in our hair and  those little twisty tags(you know those things that hold toys in the boxes) were scattered all over the floor. This was my happiest time. I loved Christmas. But as the day went on, I would have a sense of dread. I knew that my papaw and mamaw would be leaving soon. When the moment arrived for them to leave, I always cried.(This always brought me trouble later with my step-father.) I would beg them not to leave. I know now this tore at their hearts. They didn't want to leave me either. They knew my step-father did not treat me like he should. I know now this was so hard on them. Mamaw would always cry and papaw would hurry to the car so I could not see the tears in his eyes. It was really heart wrenching. I knew I would see them soon but I hated for them to leave me. After they left, I would feel sad and depressed. The next day I would be okay. I would start counting the days until I could be with them again.

My papaw was a great man. He always did his best to show me the love, care and understanding that I didn't have from my own father and step-father. If I needed him, he was always there. If I was sick, I would call him and he would pray for me over the phone. I always felt better after he prayed for me. He died in June of 2001 from a long battle with cancer. His body was so worn out from the chemo and radiation. He was tired and needed to rest. A few days before he died, I came home from Alabama where I had been living, to see him. He and mamaw where now staying with my mom so that she could take care of them. As I was sitting on the couch with him, he looked at me and said, " Baby,  your mamaw and I will not be around much longer." Of course before he could say anything else, I told him not to say that because he was going to be fine. He would get through this because he was strong and he would be okay. Well, he just let it go, he never said anything else about it. He knew it would upset me. At that point, I was in so much denial . Later on as I was standing in the kitchen talking to my mom, he made his way up the two steps into the kitchen and told my mom, " I don't want to see her go but it's getting late and I hate for her to be driving back in the dark." Because he had lost most of his sight due to mini strokes, he did not know I was standing beside him. I thought, being as sick as he is, he is still so worried about me. Later, when I was getting ready to leave, I wrapped my arms around him and hugged him a long time. I told him I loved him many times. Never knowing that it would be my last time to hear these beautiful words from him he said, " I love you too baby".

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      What a wonderful story. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing this!

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Thanks habee for your comment. Tears were in my eyes as I wrote this story. Glad to share these wonderful memories!

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 7 years ago from Irl

      ris8994-

      Such a lovely story about very special people-I loved it.Thank you.

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Thank you Itakins. I appreciate the comments.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      You are a fine writer. I thoroughly enjoyed your story. Life is sad. I am glad you had your papaw to love you and care for you. What priceless memories you have of him and his love for you.

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Thank you James. I appreciate your kind words. He was truly an awesome man.

    • create a page profile image

      create a page 7 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Thank you for sharing your precious memories with your grandparents. I can tell you had much fun with them and I know you will always remember those great times.

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Thank you create a page for reading my story. Yes, they are truely precious memories. I appreciate your sweet comment.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

      You are so gifted. I really felt the love you and your Papaw had for each other and there's nothing more I can say because I'm wiping away the tears - no one on Hubpages has ever done that before.

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Alexander Mark

      You have made my day. Thank you so much for your kind words. This hub actually took awhile to write because I would have to stop and cry for a little while and then go at it again. This hub is very special to me.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

      I believe it. I'm glad you bared your soul to us, you really blessed me.

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Alexander Mark

      Thank you for such kinds words. I appreciate it.

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      This was a great story RLS. I enjoyed it very much. Lots of emotion and memories of my own were stirred up. Thanks for taking the time to put it on paper.

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Thank you so much Stan. My Papaw was one of the kindest men you could ever meet. I feel very blessed to have had him in my life as my grandfather. I'm assuming that you have some precious memories as well. We have to hold on to those memories. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it so much!

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 7 years ago from America

      read your wonderful story , My grandfather was papaw too, heart wrenching, great job

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Thank you so much for your comment AR. I love talking about my papaw. It seems to give me some sort of comfort. Thanks for your sweet words.

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I have lots of great memories of my grandparents. Here is one. https://hubpages.com/health/My-Last-Conversation-w...

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Stan

      Just read this touching hub that you sent me to. It was so sweet. I left some comments about it. Thanks for sending it to me. I really enjoyed reading it.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, this was so sad but beautiful. what great memories you have. And I understand what you said above about crying when you wrote this. it is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful grandfather. Nell

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Thank you so much Nell. I love talking about him although it can be hard. I have so many great memories with him. Thanks so much for your kind words.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      I enjoyed your story. So many of us look up and see the grandparents gone before we ever knew them. In your case, you were so fortunate to have grandparents who showed that love and reached out to you with it. That singular act makes it much easier for the child to reach back. Thanks for a good read. WB

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Thank you Wayne for your sweet comment. I do consider myself very lucky to have these wonderful memories of the love that was always showed to me. My Grandmother is still alive and still shows me all that love. I was truley given a gift from God to have them in my life!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Beautiful story. I lost my sweet papaw to cancer too. We never stop loving them and I believe we will see them again, I sure hope so.

    • rls8994 profile image
      Author

      rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi

      Jackie Lynnley

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment. And yes you are right, we never stop loving them. I still miss him so much as I'm sure you do as well but I have no doubt we will see them again one day :)

    Click to Rate This Article