Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas - when I was small.

Many years ago, when I was 3 years old and my Brother (Anthony Wayne) was born with a birth defect in July. I don't remember him being born but I remember his passing December 21. I remember asking why everyone was crying at church (this was my first memory I was almost 4). I ask my Mother if brother went to heaven with Jesus and she said yes. After all those months of his being in the hospital and the expenses of the treatments at Children's Hospital in Chattanooga, TN., my Dad had to sell our farm and move to Indiana to find work to pay the hospital note that my Mothers cousins Virgil and Jim Gray co signed. When I went to Kindergarten we lived in a 3 story apartment building and we lived on the 3rd floor and Moms brothers lived on the 1st floor with their family's, (It had 2 apartments on the 1st floor). My Mother kept Peggy my cousin while her Mother (Hazel) and Dad (Lee) went to work. We went to school that day in December and when my uncle came to pick us up,Bobby, Billy, (Peggy's older brothers), and Me. He said you had better be glad for the clothes on your back because the house burned today and we had nothing left but the clothes we were wearing. We didn't understand until he drove us home and it was very tramatic to say the least. When the neighbor on the 2nd floor beat on the wall to tell my Mom to get out that the house was on Fire, it scared my Mom so bad all she could think of was to get Peggy Sue down the 3 floors of stairs to the bottom. She grabbed a blanket for Peggy and didn't get her purse or coat. All the money they had was in Momma's purse.

Back to Christmas:
My Dad had bought Christmas early for the first time ever so all of the presents were gone along with everything else in the fire. God is good and blessing happen in the bleakest moments, a lot of people in the neighborhood that didn't even know us found us an apartment to stay in until Dad got paid and we could find a place to live, it was one room but it was out of the cold and we were together. Clothes, furniture and a lot of things started to be donated to us from people all around and My teacher (I wish I could remember her name) gave me a Big Doll with red hair and a beautiful yellow dress. Someone else gave me a teddy bear that was used and really old but it had a wind up box that sang "Rock a bye Baby" and I was in love with that old ragged bear and slept with it every night for many years even in High School. Needless to say that is one of the reasons that I have lots of Teddy Bears, Angels, and Dolls now because not having anything much growing up. My Dad said he would never buy Christmas early again....He didn't he would go on Christmas eve and get what we could and always made Christmas very happy for Mom and Me. We didn't have lots of gifts but they were always thought out.

It took a long time for Dad to pay my Brothers hospital bills off, (Thank God for Hospital Insurance now) I was in the 8th grade, I think. I always thought Dad didn't make very much money, but he always paid the hospital first and then Housing and food.

My Dad passed away when I was 16 and he was 40, and at the funeral my Mom's 2 cousins Virgil and Jim said they hoped I knew how wonderful my Dad was and I told them that I did. They said He could have just stayed in the North and not paid the Hospital and because they had cosigned the note, they would have had to pay it, but he didn't. He paid every penny and they had so many nice things to say about my Dad that I didn't know as a teenager but had to learn after the fact. My Dad was well respected and a hard worker, it didn't matter what he had to do to work for us, from digging roads to working at Simmons Mattress Factory (That was where he died at). I remember that if a friend or neighbor's car would run he would work all weekend to get it fixed for them and not charge them anything. He said maybe I will need you sometime. He had really good values, he love my Mother and I so much.

I will take some pictures of my Teddy's, angels and dolls and put them on after Christmas. I love them because they make me smile.


Putz said...

oh my and i thought i told good stories...that was a real doozwer...i will put that one in my treasure's of truth book along with the one about utah beating alambnama in the sugar bowl on january 2nd and byu beatin ariz tommorrow in las vegas

Polly & Steve said...

Dream on! Roll Tide.

Jenny said...

Wow - it doesn't sound like life has been easy for you or your family, but I'll bet you've learned some powerful lessons about what's really important along the way. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

Putz said...

byu lost so bad as i fear utar will, have to admit it is probably a miss match byu 21 arizona 31

Polly & Steve said...

No life was not easy but we had lots of Love.

Leigh said...

Ok, tears!
I am so sorry for your loss, but I know that through your hrardships you found the blessings and the love that was the foundation of your family. It is a bittersweet story.

May I share this poem with you:

I see the countless CHRISTMAS TREES around the world below
with tiny lights like HEAVEN’S STARS reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so SPECTACULAR please wipe away that tear
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I hear the many CHRISTMAS SONGS that people hold so dear
but the SOUND OF MUSIC can't compare with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here.

I have no words to tell you of the JOY their voices bring
for it is beyond description to HEAR THE ANGELS SING.

I know HOW MUCH YOU MISS ME, I see the pain inside your heart
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I can't tell you of the SPLENDOR or the PEACE here in this place
Can you just imagine CHRISTMAS WITH OUR SAVIOR face to face

I'll ask him to LIFT YOUR SPIRIT as I tell him of your love
so then PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER as you lift your eyes above.

Please let your HEARTS BE JOYFUL and let your SPIRIT SING
for I am spending CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN and I’m walking WITH THE KING.

~ by Wanda Bencke
© Copyright 1999

Merry Christmas, friend.

Polly & Steve said...

Thanks you Leigh, The poem was wonderful and so thoughtful. Merry Christmas to you and keep being my friend.


jennifer said...

Polly, your story was so sad and so wonderful at the same time. What a wonderful man your father was. And the way your neighborhood came together! Thank you for sharing your memories.

I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas - you and Steve!

Anonymous said...

Hello, dear Polly! Thank you for sharing the story of your wonderful father and that remarkable event in your childhood! It was such an inspiration!

You asked about a source for a reasonably priced sewing dress form. I paid $100 for mine at JoAnn's (I ordered it through their web site during a sale when they were offering free shipping). That's about as inexpensive as I have found, I'm afraid. I shopped all around and couldn't find anything less expensive. I am really enjoying my dress form and find that it truly helps me with fitting issues. I hope you are able to get one for yourself, and would love to see some of your sewing creations! Have a blessed Christmas!

jennifer said...

Merry Christmas Polly!

Me Maw said...

What a wonderful testimony to your dad!

God bless! Hope you and your family had a wonderful day today!

Catherine Holman said...

That is so sweet!
I'm so happy that everyone enjoyed their pictures. I hope you and you family had a wonderful Christmas!
God Bless,

Bama Belle said...

What a wondeful story! Thank you so much for sharing with us! You are a blessing to us all, thank you!


Abounding Treasures said...


Thanks for sharing your memories of your wonderful Dad as well as those memories from that sad Christmas...

Blessings to you!