When it comes to horses, I have no fear. I have been raised with them around, and I feel very comfortable with them. This is a bit surprising when one considers what they have done to me over the years. I have a scar right by my jugular vein from where a horse bit me (she just wanted to eat, and I wanted to brush her....), a different horse that I was riding behind my dad slipped on a mountainside - my dad hopped off, but the horse and I rolled over together three times down the hillside, but it wasn't her fault. I've also been stepped on, bucked off, and kicked in the rear end - and those times, it was their faults! But, I don't hold on to these fears - I figure the worst has happened, and nothing more should concern me.
And, so it is with the Christmas season. What follows are a list of Christmas calamities that have occured in my lifetime with my side of the family. A superstitious person would think we are not destined to have good Chistmases - I don't think that way at all. In fact, Christmas to me, is like an annual vacation that one takes at home and lasts for over a month - and I think my kids are picking up on that too which brings me tremendous joy. But, this is quite a list - and I can't help but hope that it is done.
1973 or 1974 - directly prior to Christmas, my Grandfather Doug sustained a brain aneurism. It's a miracle he survived.
1975 - while dealing with 3 year old twins, a brand new house her and my dad built, and the stress of the season, my mom's body stopped working. On Christmas day she was admitted to the hospital where she spent over a month. She ended up having 2/3 of her stomach removed to combat a type of Chrohn's disease.
1977 or 1978 - my grandma Diane was very sick with cancer and died right after Christmas
1978 - I came down with Chicken Pox on the last day of school before break (I remember asking the school nurse about the itchy red spot). While I suffered through Christmas, the rest of the class got an extended break due to the incubation period hitting them later (including Michele).
1982 - The dog my dad and mom had gotten right after they were married had to be put down (by my dad....) on Christmas morning.
1987 or so - While burning the pizza boxes from our traditional Christmas Eve dinner with Grandpa and Grandma, they started a flu fire. Dad had hoses going towards the chimney, the fire dept. was called - but, fortunately, there was no damage.
2001 - My Grandpa suffered his second major stroke that we knew would take his life on Dec. 22nd. He took his final breath on Christmas Day.
2002 - Exactly 51 weeks after the absolute love of her life went to Heaven, my Grandma joined Grandpa after a blood clot in her leg led to a heart attack during the recovery after the succesful surgery.
I know everyone has their sad stories. Ours just seem to frequently happen in December! I'm so glad I can trust that God is in control and we don't live a life based on fate, coincidence or superstition. With that being said, let's continue to celebrate!