This I Believe

Al - Indianapolis, Indiana
Entered on December 12, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: family, love
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This I Believe…

I believe that parents do things that seem strange to their children and that children don’t realize the true significance until they are much older.

In 1956, at the tender age of 12, I was so looking forward to Christmas and the joy that it was supposed to bring.

Not having the capability of being born to rich people, I had narrowed down all of the items in the Sears & Roebucks Christmas Dream Book, to the one thing that I wanted most of all – A pair of cap pistols with the pearl handles – exactly like the ones that were worn by the King of the Cowboys, Roy Rogers. .

Everyday before Christmas, new, brightly wrapped gifts were put in the corner where our tree was going. We normally we didn’t get the tree until a few days before Christmas.

And then it came – Christmas morning.

In the usual tradition, I awoke first and then used various means to wake my siblings and we all stole to the living room to see Santa’s handiwork.

There was a doll for my sister, and a Red Ryder BB gun for my brother and there was a fairly big, elongated box with my name on it.

My god, maybe I also got the Cowboy hat, the chaps and the boots that went with the guns.

My hands trembled as I tore the paper off the box and looked inside. To my dismay, there were no guns but instead, a shiny new Elkhart Blessing Coronet!

As I looked at it, I felt tears starting to cloud my vision. The only thought that came was, “Why did I get this instead of those cap pistols?” I already had a beat up, school rental horn that I used. It seemed to be the worst Christmas of my life!

There have been times in my life that I’ve questioned the love that my parents had for me, but all I have to do is to remember that Christmas of 1956. My dad has since passed on, but over the years I realized the sacrifices that he made for his family. He was ill from injuries that he sustained in WWII and unable to work very much, but he did odd jobs. My mother, who was taking care of 7-children, including a newborn, periodically did day-work in people’s homes to earn cash. We frequently relied on County assistance. So, for them to go into hock to get that coronet meant that they really had a lot of love for me.

Being a parent, I know that I have taken some actions and made some decisions that my children didn’t really understand when they were growing up. However, I would hope that they would never have to question whether or not I loved them.

This I believe, they would know!