Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year From Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker

I am hoping that you all had a wonderful Christmas this year. In saying that, I know that for many survivors, Christmas and other holidays are not always happy. Too many memories seem to come up of past childhood holidays that were very unhappy. In my own childhood, holidays meant my dad was off work, which meant more opportunies for drinking, also more opportunities for his little trips to town which meant more sexual abuse events for me to endure.  When my dad got drunk, he was like his dad and got mean.  Not physically mean, usually, but verbally, emotionally mean which can have longer lasting effects upon others than physical abuse where the bruises eventually go away. I don't mean to sound like I am downplaying physical abuse.  I would never do that.  I know that some have died and many have nearly died from physical abuse.  Emotional abuse leaves long lasting scars that may never go away.

This Christmas, I didn't experience any of those memories or thoughts about my childhood. I did share one good memory from when I was about 8 years old with my son-in-law while we were talking about the existence of Santa Claus.  We were at my paternal grandparents' house, spending the night on Christmas Eve.  My dad came from a family of 13 kids.  He was the 3rd from the oldest so I grew up with the younger ones. Around 8:00 p.m. all of the kids were made to go to bed.  I remember being so excited about Santa coming the next morning. I don't think that my dad was the only one of the older siblings who was visiting their parents' house that night. The house was full of kids and adults.  I remember the adults seemed as excited as the kids all were. I rarely slept when we were at my grandparents' house even when it wasn't Christmas because I always got stuck sleeping in the middle of two other kids. I would get too hot to sleep. With the excitement of Christmas, I laid there most of the night listening to the excited talking of the adults in the rest of the house. They got to bed sometime in the early hours of the morning.  The kids started waking up at daylight.  We couldn't open any presents until the grown-ups were awake. I don't remember what I got as a gift from Santa.  I just remember the wonderment of Santa and Christmas.  That is one of the good memories of childhood that I cherish.

This Christmas was full of good memories too.  Around my birthday on December 11, we exchanged Christmas gifts with our son and his wife.  On December 18, Daniel and I got on a bus to go to Boise, Idaho where our daughter and her family live.  Daniel decided that he wanted to spend Christmas with our grandchildren this year.  We have not spent a Christmas with our daughter since her oldest daughter was eight months old.  We have four grandchildren that we wanted to celebrate Christmas with. We had a wonderful week of visiting with them - Christmas shopping after we got to Idaho, going out to eat at a nearby Mall where Daniel loves a chicken dish at a cajun restaurant in their Food Court, a baptism for our middle two grandchildren into the Mormom church, visiting with all of our son-in-law's family that came for the baptism, Christmas Eve dinner with our daughter and her family at our son-in-law's cousins' house.  Best of all was watching our grandchildren open all of their presents Christmas morning.  We drove to the nearby Sawtooth Mountains the day after Christmas to experience the beauty of the mountains and snow.  We saw cross-country skiers, antelope, snow mobilers, and beautiful snow covered mountains. 

Daniel loved the time at our daughter's but hated the two bus trips.  The last one was the worst.  We watched our last bus driver break up a fight and threaten to kick two people off the bus.  We had one young man who was probably on drugs of some kind.  He talked loudly almost non-stop until about 3:00 a.m. when he finally shut up and went to sleep.  No one woke him up at our Ft. Smith, Arkansas stop because we were all tired of his talking and cursing.  He was just loud enough that the bus driver could ignore him.  We left Oklahoma City 45 minutes late and so when we got to Little Rock at 6:40 a.m. on December 30, we had missed our connection to Hot Springs by about 30 minutes.  I called our son and daughter-in-law to let them know that the next bus to Hot Springs was at 7:00 p.m.  Our son was already at work.  Our daughter-in-law came to N. Little Rock to pick us up after I was able to give her the address for the bus station.  An employee of the bus station told us that the bus from Oklahoma City was always late and that we should call for a taxi to take us home.  I told him I would only do that if the bus station was willing to pay the bill.  He said no they wouldn't do that. 

On Monday, I plan to call the bus company and complain.  At two of our transfer points, we were the last ones on the bus and filled it to capacity.  One of those stops there weren't any more passengers waiting to get on the bus.  At the second stop, about 8-10 people were in line behind us and had to wait for the next bus to come along.  All of this may have been because we were traveling for the holidays but I was not impressed by customer service at all or by most of the bus drivers.  Daniel says we won't travel by bus again.  I kept a good mood until we missed our bus in N. Little Rock.  I remained nice to the bus personel but I will make an official complaint.  We had to put gas in our son's car after our daughter-in-law came and got us.  We stopped in Benton, Arkansas at Waffle House on the way home for breakfast.  Instead of getting home around 7:00 a.m., we got home around 9:30 or 10:00 a.m.  Our journey was a great experience overall with only minor frustrations along the way. 

I am glad that I had my husband Daniel to experience the adventure with me.  The highlight of the trip was the day after Christmas when our oldest granddaughter posted a comment on her Facebook page saying that our visit was the best Christmas present that she had ever received.  That made our day.

Today is the last day of 2011.  It has been a year of struggle and triumph, tears and joy, awe and wonder. Some experiences I would not want to repeat.  Those hopefully were lessons that I learned so they don't have to be repeated.  They were mostly relationship lessons which can sometimes be the hardest when people get hurt and friendships end. My best friend had a heart attack and I didn't know about it for several weeks because we weren't speaking at the time. That was a first for us. We have never had any major disagreements like this before. I am very glad that she survived and so has our friendship.  It scared us both.  The year ended with our trip to Idaho and back home.  We had a great time.

I want to end this year of 2011 on a good note as I wish all of my readers and friends a very Happy New Year for 2012.


Darlene Ouimet said...

Happy New Year Patricia!

I celebrate the old year and the new year with you! You are one of the blessings in my life and I appreciate your input here and on my blog too!

Thank you for being who you are and for all you contribute to the survivor communities!

Love Darlene

Patricia Singleton said...

Darlene, I am grateful for your friendship and for your blog Emerging From Broken and its contribution to my own healing journey. You are very welcome for my contributions to our survivor community, as small as they are.

From Tracie said...

I'm happy to hear you had a nice Christmas this year!

Bus trips can be very frustrating. It is good that you didn't have to go through it alone.

I hope that your 2012 has been good, so far.

Patricia Singleton said...

From Tracie, thank you. I hope that your 2012 is glorious too. The visit with our daughter and grandchildren was worth the frustration of the bus trip.