In Pictures…

How do I sum up my Christmas this year? I would have to say it’s as close enough to perfect as it could be compared to the year I have had. My niece, Miss Priss, as I have called her since she was born, and I reunited this year with my brother’s (her dad) cancer battle.

Life has a way of separating family, but the grace of God brought us together. Jim’s cancer was truly a blessing in disguise. If not for his cancer, I wouldn’t have my Miss Priss back.

Christmas Eve started off with me doing midday drop offs of presents and part of the food. I was cooking quite a bit and I could not do all in one trip, and have GMae with me, too. Miss Priss asked me to bring her some of my coffee but I told her only if she could accept my pre-showered body as I was still in pajamas. I threw on a hat because I hadn’t even brushed my hair yet either. I sent her this selfie after I left. Miss Priss always says I’m beautiful (she needs her eyes checked!), but she said I’m the perfect blend of her grandma and grandma, my parents. Biggest compliment ever.

Missy gave me the most touching gifts for Christmas. I’m not one who is speechless very often, but I sat in awe. She had me open these in a certain order.

First she had the last family picture framed for me. The funny thing is I recently asked her for that picture back because I used it for Jim’s Kickin’ the Bucket party. It was my personal picture. She only replied that she still had it. *Take note of Chubs’ Snoopy shirt.

Missy said she has had Chubs’ shirt since he passed almost 13 years. The picture above was taken 13 years ago this week. She didn’t know what she was going to do with the shirt, but didn’t want to let go of it either. And then this year Miss Priss and I reunited and became close again…just like we were so many years ago. She knew exactly what to do with the shirt. And so I opened the next gift which was a pillow made from his shirt…

My heart paused for a moment as I tried to catch my breath. I hadn’t seen this shirt since the picture was taken. Chubs loved Snoopy. His dog was even named Snoopy. Then Missy said there was more… I don’t know if my heart could take much more…

I opened the biggest gift there. I had no idea the biggest one was mine. Missy had some of Jim’s favorite t-shirts made into a blanket for me. Many of the shirts were a tie back to me. Some of the Kick-A-Thon fundraisers we did for Chubs, the numerous Hank Jr concerts with his infamous rebel flag “Original Bad Ass” shirt, our love of ‘rasslin’ back in the day, and other favorite shirts.

My Jimmy Boy (oldest great nephew) helped me fold it back up to take home. I didn’t get a chance to fully take it all in until I got home and spread it out. GMae was quick to get on top of her Uncle Jimbo’s blanket. I won’t lie. I laid down on the blanket and traced over EVERY SINGLE SHIRT. I remembered when he wore each shirt. I remember all of the Kick-A-Thons he helped with for Chub’ memorial scholarship. I remember the damn Hank Jr concert where I nearly punched out the guy behind me because he said, “Hurry up, Bitch” when the ticket scanner wasn’t working for my ticket. When I turned around with fist clenched because I had already been mouthing back, Jim had a hold of my shoulders, and security stepped in between. Oh..the good ole days of Hank, Jr filled with whisky drunken fools…and NONE OF THOSE FOOLS WERE ME! 555

Miss Priss added many more touches to my Christmas with making ornaments, which are my favorite things to receive at Christmas. I forgot to grab a picture, but they represented my loves: hand-carved leg lamp from A Christmas Story, an angel ornament in memory of my mom, a bone ornament for GMae, and a Hallmark Snoopy in memory for Chubs.

This has been a horrible year, but tonight was simply the best Christmas. Heartfelt gifts are better than anything money can buy. I wasn’t sure how I could fit any of this into words when I am so full of emotions.

I sit here watching “A Christmas Story” marathon. I cried most of the morning today…and I’m sure I will cry most of tomorrow. I miss not talking to Jim tonight during this marathon. He knows my obsession with this movie. I would stay up most every Christmas Eve just to watch this all through the night. I could count on him being up watching with me. We would go back and forth on what time we missed a viewing. I hope he’s watching from Heaven with me now.

I’ll end with a picture of my great nieces and great nephews: Lexi Lou (14), Audrey (9), Jimmy Boy (13) and Levi (7). I don’t know when my sweet Jimmy Boy got taller than me. I love hearing them call me “Aunt Micki”. I loved when Jimmy Boy said my gift was his favorite. It’s those little things that make my heart smile.

Merry Christmas! Peace out, Trout!

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