During the holiday season, it is easy to grow melancholy remembering loved ones who are no longer here. For my family, our Christmas festivities are dampened as we pause to remember our matriarch on the anniversary of her passing.
For so many years, my grandmother was the glue that bound our large family together. My grandmother gave from her heart. She was a teacher, a counselor, a mentor, and a confessor. She perfected the art of forgiveness. She was tolerant and patient. She was gentle, frail, and strong.
My grandmother made each and every member of her family feel special – as if they were her favorite.
My grandmother was not a wealthy woman. There were no Christmas presents waiting for us under her tree but we ran, young and old, to her home to celebrate joyfully with her the true spirit of Christmas – love.
Today, I read a Facebook post from one of my aunts – one of my grandmother’s six daughters and it struck me that we – every one of her decedents – continue to enjoy one of the greatest gifts she could give us – the gift of family.
Every one of her daughters has become the matriarch of her own family. On Christmas day, each of their homes will fill with children and grandchildren eager to spend time with them.
I watch these fine women throughout the year; I watch them teach, counsel, mentor, and hear confessions. I watch them forgive infractions large and small. I watch them exercise the tolerance and patience of a saint.
It dawned on me today that they probably do not consider themselves the wonderful mothers, aunts, and sisters that their mother was. They are wrong.
To all my terrific aunts – congratulations, you have become your mother! Just ask your children.