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bearwithfish 12-24-2009 09:28 AM

share your best Christmas (or other hiliday)
 
My Personal Best….
Often I sit and think of days gone by and attempt to put today in context with the past. Often memories of where I am from and thing I have done bring the day into perfect clarity and strengthen my resolve to push a little harder, try one more time, and occasionally let things go. This day I sit and remember my favorite Christmas of all time. Now if I simply skip to the day itself one would look at it and wonder why it holds such fond memories. So to avoid this I must jump back in history a year and a half before to begin setting the stage for what was truly a magical and wonderful Christmas.
July 1993… I am an 18 year old high school drop out just recently got clean from the drug use of the last 4-5 years and I am trying to make ends meet with my fiancÚ. We are working bad jobs and I get a letter in the mail that reads “the state of Arizona is bringing you to court for child support….” WHAT???? I don’t have a kid, much less in Arizona!
Off to court to order a DNA test. Four weeks later “Congratulations you’re a father”. Wow, well if I am then I want rights to visit and get to know my daughter. The courts nicely say that I have no rights unless I pay. Heck yeah I will pay and I want to start right now!!! They were happy to take the money, not so happy to help me get to see my kid. Jerks!
October 1993… Letter in the mail- “The department of child services in Texas and we have custody of your child. If you fail to respond we are waiving all of your paternal rights”. That was a heck of a letter to get on a Friday night! So after staying awake for three days I called the department at 9am Monday morning. Ok so Texas is 2 hours behind and I have to wait 2 more hours... how tough it is to not know what is coming next.
Over the next two months I meet my child by telephone and exchange pictures and gifts for Christmas by mail. This is really bugging me. I need to know my child, I need to hold her, and I need to care for her the way I was not cared for in my own life. New Years Eve party at my apartment was…. Unusual… I tossed every one out of the house told the better half I am moving to Texas to get my child and she can come or stay but I am going. SHE IS GOING TOO!!! Man I can not believe how supportive she is of my decision. Move back to parent’s house to save money to go to Texas. No real plan, just get there and wing it. March find out fiancÚ is pregnant, I am over the top happy and worried and excited darn crazy year.
April 1994... Take train to Texas show up with $695 cash in my pocket and two bags with my belongings. That’s it. Foster family meets me at the train station with my kid for our first meeting. Any man who has had a child understands the overwhelming emotion I felt just then, and I cried like a baby. Darn she is a cutie. Spent the day with her and the foster family and got a ride to Paris, TX and found the hotel I paid one night for. The social worker meets me there and we got to know each other a little. Over the next 24 hours I landed a job as a 2nd cook at a pub in town and landed a rental house. I needed one more night in a hotel but I had the beginnings and some help from the social worker for rides and such to get the ball rolling. Oh yeah and the only piece of furniture a borrowed air mattress on the floor. Darn this was going to be hard.
Late May… fiancÚ joins my in Texas and I have started a new job delivering furniture, the work is hard and the heat is rough but the pay is better and I will have more time with my child and fiancÚ.
September… my second daughter is born!!!!!!! She is so beautiful and we are starting to make things work for us. It’s not the best life but it’s ours and we are trying really hard.
Late October early November... Darn lost my job bills are high and nothing is going right! I am turning 21 and can get my Commercial drivers license (CDL) may be and get some real money for the family. Yeah 6 weeks away from them but the pay off with get us out of the hole. Well that was the idea any way. So I go off to driving school. Living on two cans of fake sausages a day and if a room mate feels nice a can of corned beef hash every other day or three. This stinks! Hey good news you will get 3 days home for Christmas! Then off to Oklahoma City to get your truck and first loads. Yeah darn money!!
Call the social worker and she will pick me up at the bus stop 45 miles away from home and get me to the house Christmas Eve!! Yeah my first Christmas with my kids!!! All set graduation and road test are done I got the CDL and I am ready to rock. Get the grey hound to the bus stop and - …. What the heck no worker?!!? A call from the pay phone gets me a oh yeah I forgot and I left town so your on your own happy holidays. (*&&%#@#%&$*(#^%&(%()()*%()*^2*()&%*() man I was MAD!!
A friend once said to me if you are ever in a bind flag down a cop and ask for help they can either help you or get to some one who can. So I really had nothing to lose. Stopping a cop looks kind of funny but if you are loud enough and make a big deal of it they will stop. This one did and after I explained what my deal was and how I was trying to get home he took me to the station. Darn I thought I was getting help not arrested! Turns out he just wanted to get me a sandwich and a hot chocolate while he made arraignments. He took me to the town line and said that the Texas police force was willing to help me out. I looked and there was another cruiser waiting for me at the line! And so it went from one cruiser to another from town line to town line all the way back to Paris. When I got there the cops knew me and asked if I was trying to make Christmas, of course I was!! Ok then sit back he said and on came the lights and siren, down went the peddle and 90 MPH all the way to the front door! I got out and the fiancÚ opened the door thinking I was in trouble. She cried when I told her what happened and then we walked into the house at 11:55pm Christmas Eve.
We had a two foot tall tree on a cardboard box in the corner. Two sets of lights that we got at a dollar store, dinner made from mostly canned foods and gifts that either we got at the dollar store or stole because we had no money. The worker had sent a few things for the girls and they loved it all. The house was cool and the ground was green but man we had the best Christmas ever……
Now I am a bit older and I think things through a bit more but some times I just like to sit and remember the hardest, worst, best darn Christmas I ever had…. May we never forget where we come from and those challenges that we over came. And may those who are in them now see the future as full of possibilities and that one day the struggle will be worth the return.
With love and wisdom,
Brett

willow 12-24-2009 04:38 PM

wow !!
you have had a testing time,and come out the other side.
i wish you all the very best,for you and your family.

Mean Harri 12-24-2009 05:48 PM

You sir deserve a round of applause for standing up for what is right, pushing through all the crap, and coming out the other side of the tunnel into the light.

May you and your family have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Cheers and best of luck always.

Eric
aka Mean Harri

Mean Harri 12-24-2009 06:48 PM

This post got me to thinking back to when I was a child. And in looking back it's not so much what the Christmas' were like rather what the times were like compared to now a days.

Born in '68 in the northeast life was what life was. My father worked at a steel mill and we were your typical middle class family. Where life was a day of adventure outside. From almost the time of waking up to almost time to go to bed we would play outside. Football, baseball, tag, hide and seek. All the typical kid games. We had the typical kid fights and a bloody nose. We teased and tormented one another. We also got along and played together. We would run through the lawn sprinkler, drink from the garden hose, and throw lawn darts. You know, those long, metal tipped spike ends with plastic fletching to throw into the air? My friend's dad took us hunting. We're still here. We survived. Hell, we even got in trouble for being outside for so long.

I can remember my grandfather, who came to this country from the Ukrain, working outside. Kneeling on his knees trimming the grass with hand clippers. He would always have a plug of Cutty Sark tobacco to chew on. Food consisted of the basics known from their country of not having too much. Pirohi (perogies), halupki (stuffed cabbage), halushki (cabbage, onions, butter, cottage cheese), buttered potatoes... Not what you would think of as healthy as a lot of butter, milk, eggs, etc... were used. But he live to be 97 years old. And his daughter, my grandmother, is still alive to this day. She is barely hanging in there but she is still kicking it at the age of 92.

I was always fascinated by the fire trucks as they left the station to go on a call. The station was down over the hill from our house. The fire siren was on top of the hill right behind our house. I watched with excitement as the volunteer firefighters drove in to the station with their lights twirling on their cars. Red lights on the homes across the streets, doors up, away they go. I joined as a junior firefighter at the age of 14. Remained an active firefighter until Dec. 2002 when I moved to Colorado.

Then I start to think about today. I look around and watch people. I listen to people. I watch the kids now a days. I think about what we used to do and what people now a days can't do. Either because so many things have been taken away in the name of "protecting" us or because some moron doesn't have any common sense and some politician somewhere or a scum bag lawyer decided we people are too stupid to have this item.

Now we have cell phones, computers, video game consoles, you name it. Most kids are allergic to fresh air, and everything else, I might add. Asthma cases out of this world, blamed on pollution. Oh the evil gas burning cars. I should mention, when I was a kid I never knew anyone with asthma and the cars then got like 10 miles to the gallon. And burned leaded fuel. Oh for shame. Now we need pry bars and threats to get kids outside. Take a cell phone away and watch tears flow of what is perceived by them as a ruined life. OMG!! And Atari? What's that?... they ask

My new friends at TFK forums, I look back and see what life used to be and what life has become. A country that has been led in to believing we are better off letting Washington and lawyers control our lives. That we are incapable of figuring it out ourselves. And at this, yet another Christmas, 2009 we are once again being led down a path that has what I can see by looking back and reflecting, Christmas is a time for reflection, no?... another change from what life was then and what life is becoming now with the shenanigans of our American government.

We played rougher. We worked rougher. We lived rougher. We were rougher. And yet we are also so normal. We are law abiding, tax paying, good natured souls. We never sued anyone for slipping and falling on a snowy sidewalk. We called ourselves clumsy if doing so. We had self responsibility. We had courage, honor, integrity, sense of duty, and pride. We were proud and grateful to be Americans.

Some of us still are... And to you I wish you the most Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May we all prosper and cherish the gifts that we have before us today. Because tomorrow may not be so kind.

Mean Harri~
Eric

mollies 12-27-2009 01:46 AM

I may not of been born in 68, but the early 80's and Eric/ Mean Harri, I couldnt agree more. thos were the good ole days......I cant believe all of the sue happy people out there, all of the politics out there. ah im not going to get started. lol the hard times, remeber them ...........

dramaqueen 12-27-2009 01:33 PM

Kids nowadays have no idea what it was like to not have cell phones, plasma tv's X-boxes, Wii's, cd players, computers and all that kind of stuff. We didn't even have tv when we lived in Germany for 2.5 years. We DID actually HAVE a tv but everything was all in German so we never watched it. We played outside, roller skated, played soccer and rode our bikes. Those were the good old days! lol

bearwithfish 12-27-2009 09:32 PM

thank you all for your posts and replies... what a strange thing time is... i remember most of those things .. out side no seat belts and what the hell was tv??? LOL we had them just never really used them there was to much going on out side of the house..... man those were great times... so this year i will again aggrivate my children and cut the wires to every devise we have as soon as spring arrives and ask them to be active out side or stretch that muscle between their ears and read a book you know those rectangulare objects that their father is always holding and seeming to find great joy in even though it does not make noise or flash....
LOL any how i hope you all enjoyed this banter and think of your own speacial times.....

briang 01-04-2010 10:19 PM

My best Christmas ever was last year. This one was almost as good but last years is hard to beat.
http://www.bostonreefers.org/forums/...cons/icon7.gif
My best gift ever was watching my 10 year old son open his presents.1 month before Christmas I got him a decent acoustic guitar and 3 months worth of lessons. I got a great deal on it and he was with me so I had no choice but to make it an early Christmas present. Well since then I stopped at a pawn shop and couldn't pass up a deal on a beautiful electric guitar and amp. which he didn't know about. Well come Christmas eve, I told him that I would be videoing him opening presents as usual and being that I gave him his acoustic guitar early, I still wanted to wrap it and get a video of him opening it so that when I get old, I can remember that I got him a guitar . So that night when he was sleeping, I took out his acoustic from his guitar case and put in the electric. When it came time to open the presents, I told him to humor the old man and make believe that he didn't know that he had a guitar. He told me that I was being silly but he would do it for the camera. Well, he played along perfectly. As he ripped the paper from his guitar case he said, WOW Dad, you got me a guitar, then he opened his case and HIS JAW HIT THE FLOOR, he stood in shock as he wiped the tears from his eyes. He made me tear up just watching him. He hasn't put it down since. It was my best present ever.http://www.bostonreefers.org/forums/...lies/smile.gif

dramaqueen 01-04-2010 11:36 PM

Wow, what a great story!! That is one gift and Christmas neither of you will ever forget!


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