Third and Fourth Generations…

One of my favorite songs is “I’ll be Home For Christmas.”

I’m not sure why this song has such a sentimental holding on me yet it does.  I really have to say that for the longest time home eluded me. What does that mean?  When I hear the song, I have this vision of home which means all those I love.  I see family, happy families hanging out together.

Maybe this is my Hallmark ideal image in my head that has never been fulfilled.  See, even though I have my own home with my own family… there are those missing every year.  I have never had a real Christmas with all the trimming with my whole family.

If you have read my blog over the years, you know that my father managed to ruin every Christmas.  We used to celebrate Christmas in true tradition… when I was little.  I don’t remember it really well yet I have this faint, very faint memory that what we didn’t have in money, we made up with love.  I have this distant memory… a picture of us, happy.

Then my dad banned Christmas.  No tree, no gifts, no anything.  It became awkward from here on out… when my mom did her thing on Christmas, sneaking presents to us or what not, my dad would eventually leave.  This was disturbing as anything.  He was gone all day.  This, of course, ruined Christmas, in itself.

When he would come back we would all pretend nothing was weird.  We would bring him presents and open them for him.  He would be all stiff.  Sometimes we would get a thank you.  Never… ever, did he give us a gift.

Funny how after all these years, that pain just lies under the surface.  My dad is spending Christmas alone this year.  I thought he would go to his sister’s or my other brother’s.  He is alone.

I hate that it bothers me.  He still has a effect on my Christmas every year.  Why?  Well, part of my being home for Christmas is that we are all together.  Happy.  It is a yearning that never goes away.  He will never be HOME for Christmas.  Sadly, it is all his doing.

I hate that I feel so much of this never ending want… due to my father’s poor choices.  Due to his choices, we all suffered and as much as we can pretend, continue to suffer.  The pain of childhood is one that seems to carry over into life as a grown up.

Every Christmas, I think of my dad.  I have moments of feeling pain for all that is lost.  I am glad that my mom is able to be home for Christmas.  I guess that is always part of it too.  We (Sanj and I ) don’t have parents with their own home.  Maybe that is part of Christmas that is missing.  The Going Home part.

Aw… while there is so much that I celebrate, I can’t help but remember that text:  “The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’”

That sucks.  Despite all the steps I have made to break those cycles that were so destructive,  there is so much that will keep coming, visiting my children and their children.  Often I see traits, especially of my dad, in some of the boys.  They are not traits I would have liked to seen passed on… and this makes me panic.  Then all I can do is pray… beg God… for His constant help and guidance.

So, this Christmas, as I prepare for this wonderful season, to share with my family the joys of the season, I can’t help butpause and think of Christmases gone by.  I can’t help but wonder if my dad remembers…

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