Being grateful!

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”   [Laura Ingalls Wilder]

I think that Christmas is a special time, a time for families to get together to enjoy each others company and share what’s been happening throughout the year. Christmas is a time to take a break from all the busy schedules we have, a time to reflect on life and on people that we have around us, and be grateful for.

When Christmas time is approaching I get that feeling of excitement, hence my illustrations. I simply love it when I sit down at the drawing board letting my ‘younger’ self work away on the paper.

Christmas Collage

Here above is a selection of the illustrations that I have been creating during the months leading up to this Christmas. And as you can see I work a lot with the theme togetherness, and the reason for that is that Christmas to me has another side as well.

It reminds me of everything and everyone that I am missing. My Father is not around anymore, and my Mother is [I don’t know where] not around either, well she has been gone from my life for a very long time, close to 45 years. She is not dead, but decided to leave my Father and her children in 1970. So I was brought up with my Dad and older brother. And to me Christmas was a happy time back then, it was all the preparations, my grandmother was an excellent baker, and the cookies she made not to mention her special bread and buns. None of them are around anymore, grandparents from both sides are gone since many years, what remains are the memories and this part of my past is luckily good and happy memories.

It’s all these memories that are coming back each year, and there is a sting in my heart not having people around anymore. My siblings are spread all over the world, and we don’t get to meet as often as we would like. I have a younger sister living in Texas and we haven’t seen each other in 26 years!!! That is a very long time. The circumstances back then, mostly due to our Mother, kind of torn us apart. And it’s not until at grown up age we managed to pick up our contact again, after all those years. Even though we were brought up in different families, she with our Mother and me with my Dad [we have different fathers] there is always a bond between us. We have both been through the traumatic experiences with our mother, even though in different ways, but still it has had a big effect on us all. Luckily she and I are now able to talk about it and share our experiences. That wound is not going to heal in one day, and as I usually say that “Rome was not built in ONE day”. Need to try to build up the same contact with my other siblings, might prove a different struggle. I will never give up!

At Christmas it comes as a reminder to the things that we are missing out on with our own ‘blood’ family. We are both having lovely ‘new’ families around us with loving people, people that cares a lot:

Family collage

This is a collage of my precious family

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Me and hubby

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Me and my Daughter 

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Family pictures from Christmas 2014 – Love All of my family to bits!! They all make my life filled with meaning – so I dedicate this Christmas post to each and everyone of you; Hubby Peter, Mark, Ruth, Malin, Tom, little grandson Jack and of course little Dotty [she is a mood booster á la mega] – You guys Rock big time!!!

Merry_Christmas_2009

 

~ Eva’s Chronicles ~

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Being grateful!

  1. Thanks for sharing your life story, your illustrations, and your beautiful family in photos. I can see how blessed you are with your husband and daughter there by your side. Merry Christmas and I do hope someday that you may become friends with your siblings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dearest Eva,
    Yes, there are lost years, I am close again to my youngest sister and grateful for that. Also two brothers I’m really close to. The other sister, that will never get mended… she trashed two shoe boxes with my letters to my Parents. They were in my old bedroom, on the shelf in the walk-in closet for Mom to go to and re-read if she felt like. She often did so and that’s why I did not take them to the USA. Now it’s too late, she’s trashed all my stories of world wide adventures we got stuck in while traveling as international consultants. So many people had asked me to write a book… All out of the window as that much information I never can re-create only by memory. Sad and one asks oneself: ‘WHY?’
    Two brothers seem to be changing a little, towards more closeness but still…
    Yes, for me Christmas time is always a very melancholic time of the year. We only have had our Anita over in 2004 and that felt like a complete family for once. Never in 32 years have we been together with family…
    But new extended family of friends that adopted us as their family and it feels warm. So much to be grateful for still and we never ever will find answers to the complexity of human beings’ behavior!
    But it is also a time for being close to our Angels that we know by name; we can feel their presence and the hope that one day, we will meet again!
    Hugs and it’s a blessing that you can guide your energy during this melancholic time of the year in such a way as to create some lovely work with a lot of meaning!
    Mariette

    Liked by 1 person

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