BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE
THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS
We all know the true meaning of Christmas, different for many of us, but the same too. For us, the year, and this Christmas, was very, very different.
We have been married for forty-five years. During that time we have rented homes, sometimes comfy ones, sometimes not so good. The time was never right to buy a home of our own—it just never worked out for us. We’ve had wonderful landlords, and we’ve had ones that should never own property. 2009 brought for us the biggest change in our living conditions and I’d like to share it with you all.
In April, friends of ours decided they needed to purchase a home to renovate. It was going to give the guy something to keep him busy in his retirement (Now that is the biggest understatement of the year!!!). They wanted to buy it so that Jim and I could move in, rent it for much less than what we had been paying, and know that the rent would remain the same for as long as we lived in the home. There were many tears in our home as we looked ahead to the wonderful change this was going to bring.
I even had the privilege of going along on the house hunt, to select the home which would suit us best. Imagine that! They wanted us to help find the right place. The home was purchased, through many ups and downs, delays and issues, but it was done and so began the real work. My part was to clean, paint, scrape, and do the walls and woodwork. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even when I’d arrive back home looking like I’d been working in a coal mine! Days of waiting on electricity, plumbing, trash cleanup (we did learn that you can only put so much trash in so many places) and then a small thing would halt what we were doing.
By August we were making good progress, I made plans to move Sept 1st, then Sept 4th, then settled on the 9th—and prayed a lot. The day of the move it rained, oh joy what fun. It was far more stressful to manage that one day than it had been the entire time of renovation. But we spent the night of September 9th in our new place, enjoying every minute of it. Of course, the VA had yet to install the stair-lift, so Jim had to sleep in the living room—not his favorite thing, but still allowing him to get out on the porch and enjoy the air during the day. He hadn’t been able to do that for four years.
He has his stair-lift now, and I continue to paint and work on the wood floors, change things around, and just, in general, get comfortable in what truly seems like “our” home.
The gift of this home, and its security, cannot be measured by any standard. It comes with a sense of peace never before experienced by me. There is laughter now, where there was not before. There is a wonder that we are really here, and won’t have to endure another move. I know that I am free to make changes, choose colors, do what I would do if I owned the house. What a joy that is!
The people who gave us this peace know who they are. We are forever grateful for a friendship that reaches so deep. We will savor every day in this home, enjoy them, live them, knowing tomorrow we awake here, secure and happy for the first time in so many years. This is a Christmas we will long remember, a Christmas that came with a gift which gives back every day, with love and happiness. There are no words to thank our friends.
For all of you, may the Christmas season be a special time.