Crinkled up Christmas paper covered the floor as we ran around getting dressed for the day. It was Christmas morning and we’d just finished opening our gifts.
“Mom what time do we have to go?” I asked.
Covering the last cookie sheet, my mother looks up with powder sugar on her nose and said, “We’re leaving in ten minutes.”
“Ok hurry up! I can’t wait to see Grams and Papa,” I said.
Ten minutes became twenty and after we scrambled like chickens with their heads cut off, we finally made it out the door and on our way to grandmas. All my siblings and I could talk about was the games and presents under the tree. My mother would always remind us to stop and count our blessings.
She would tell us, “Kids, don’t worry so much about your toys, Christmas is a time for family. Never take anything for granted and appreciate everything today. Especially, take a moment to appreciate your grandparents.”
“Aw mom, you always worry about such things. Nothing’s gonna happen, “I said.
We rolled up to my grandparents’ house in our minivan as my father screamed as I opened the door too early before the van stopped. “Sorry dad,” I said as I sprinted inside the house. My brother and I ran like the wind as we quickly passed both my grandparents to check out what was under the Christmas tree.
They laughed as we passed them by. All I could think of was what was under the tree and when were we going to eat. Papa asked me if I wanted to play a few games but I told him “Later Papa, can I go on your computer first?”
“Sure.” He said with a smile from ear to ear.
After a few minutes, Grams shouted, “Time to eat everyone.”
I was so hungry I can eat a horse. Grams had so much food. Her buffet had food from French toast to pasta. She covered breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one meal. It was great.
“Grams the food is delicious,” I shouted across the table.
When everyone was done, I finally played a game with Papa. He wanted to teach me chess. He was so excited and taught me all of his tricks and strategies.
That night I laid in bed thinking about my mother’s words and how grateful I was to have two grandparents who loved me so much.
Little did I know that less than one year later we would be sitting in a place called Hospice watching my grandfather lose his battle to a crazy disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob. It came so fast that none of us saw it coming.
It started with a car accident in June and ended with a fatal brain disease in November. My Papa had passed away and all I could think about was my mother’s words of never take anything for granted. I realize more now than ever that life is a gift and so are the people in it. Appreciate them today because you never know what tomorrow holds.
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