Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Advent Calendar - December 23 - Christmas Sweetheart Memories

Do you have a special memory of a first Christmas present from a sweetheart? How did you spend your first Christmas together? Any Christmas engagements or weddings among your ancestors?
I have a couple of very fond memories of a first Christmas with a sweetheart. When I was very young [too young really], I married my first husband. We were married on December 12th, [my parents, and my maternal grandparents anniversary]. We were married for 15 years, and from that marriage we had five wonderful children. Our very first Christmas together, we were broke. We had absolutely no money to purchase each other a gift with. [We were both only teenagers!] So, my mother gave us money to buy one another a gift. I purchased him a Bible. But I will never forget what he gave me that year. A set of five miniature oil lamps. [I was enamored with all things old or antique – still am – so oil lamps were precious to me.] But it wasn’t necessarily the gift, as the thought he had to put behind it, to get something he knew would be just right for me. [It was probably the only Christmas he actually gave me something I treasured! One year he even gave me a piece of paper that said “I O U” on it, because he had wasted all of his money on other things!]

Then there is one other first Christmas together that I will treasure for all my life. I met my dh, Johnnie, in October of 1997. I had just been diagnosed with lung cancer, and my prognosis wasn’t good. As a matter of fact, they gave me six months to get everything in order. By December, Johnnie had moved in with my five children and me. I can’t remember us discussing it, just realizing one day that he had moved in, leaving his house in Salem to come help take care of me.

Johnnie asked me to marry him the first of December. I couldn’t say yes. How could I marry this man, knowing he would have to face my death so soon afterward? It wasn’t fair!

So I said no.

About ten days later, he asked again. And again, I said no.

Each time I said no, he would regale me with all of the reasons I should yes!

On Christmas Day of 1997, Johnnie’s gift to me was a little box. I can remember shaking as I opened it up; knowing what was inside. It is a beautiful half-carat diamond ring on a plain gold band. Simple, but elegant. It was me.

Well, needless to say, I said yes.

The cancer went into remission, and I’ve been free of any markers of the disease ever since. [I tell everyone that love cured me!]

So, it was a very emotional, and touching Christmas, that we first spent together in 1997.

Incidentally, we married the following February 27th, but that is another story unto itself!

1 comment:

Thomas MacEntee said...

What a love story! And what a blessing Johnnie has been!