Thursday, December 24, 2015

Nana's Last Home-cooked Christmas

Sharing Cousin Mindy's Christmas Remembrances

Nana's eyes light up brighter than any tree or ornament.

1996. This was Nana's very last Christmas in the comfort of her own home in Fairgrove, Missouri, with all of her loving family around to support her. There was a thin blanket of snow on the ground, the air had a wintry quality to it; no doubt this was Christmas.

At Nana's Christmas Day meal, she always made everyone's favorite dishes: a crockpot of baked beans, her homemade chicken dumpling stew, pumpkin and apple pie, fudge… My cousin Lonny parked himself by the baked beans and hovered. She home cooked everything, which meant a bit of elbow grease and a lot of love went into every plateful. There was always a strong link between her food and the love she gave.

This Christmas wasn't just about a meal though; this year had a special meaning about it. When it got dark outside, it came time to listen to her old Christmas albums and for the kids to unwrap their gifts. Seeing this always made Nana's eyes light up brighter than any tree or ornament.

When the family gathered round to take Christmas photos, something strange showed up in them. In each picture (taken by me) was a light mist that hovered around the person in it, almost clinging to their happy, cheerful auras. This was an especially odd occurrence, seeing as Nana was very in touch with her soul. This, in my eyes, proved a couple of things I had long thought about Nana. One being that she was, in fact, very spiritual. Nana always had her brothers and sisters around...either in flesh or spirit. I used to catch a glimpse of them around when my guard was down. Almost as if the mist in the pictures was an old friend and they were just chatting about days past. The other thing it proved was that no matter what was going on, what downfalls or uprisings come, that none of these things mattered to her as long as she could celebrate with her family on Christmas.

A Very Blessed Christmas,
Mindy Beall Fitch

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