we love each other too much to let each other go – “to be with you”

Tonight was family Christmas on my mother’s side. Each year we celebrate by exchanging sock gifts for a person we have drawn the year before. We all come together open gifts, spend time together, eat cheese and veggie dips and soups for dinner. As a child these celebrations were magical times of gift opening and waiting in anticipation for my turn. We always went in order from youngest to oldest which meant that  I was always number four (the first girl). At that time Grandma filled our socks and we each opened our two presents from Grandma and Grandpa. Since we have started the name draw instead of Grandma and Grandpa filling each sock the person who drew our name does so.  This means that each year the presents are unique to that gift giver and it is (supposed to be) a surprise to who had us. I’m much older so I’m not breathless with anticipation to open my sock gifts but I do look forward to it eyeing my sock and trying to gauge who it’s from and what is in it. I like to watch the person who I had shopped for open their sock and discover what I found for them.

This year was a little different. Our gathering was smaller than normal as my family more than twenty-five is scattered far and wide but we still held our sock exchange, laughed at the little girls, admired baby Kinely who is less than a week old and enjoyed each other’s company. I was also blessed to have my Grandmom (my father’s mother) here from Denver. She joined our gathering and I loved knowing that many of the people I loved were in the same room or represented by the socks they had sent.

One thing that has become apparent to me this year as the family has continued to scatter is that it takes work to be a family. Especially, an extended family. It takes dedication. Love, yes but also dedication, a dash of stubbornness and a huge amount of commitment. When you live far from someone you love it is easy to let a relationship go. I’ve watched my father work to continue his relationship with my Grandmom, calling every night even when they may not have lots to talk about. It works. They are close and they have a bond. Without those phone calls and the decision to communicate the relationship could easily have been lost. And now for the first time as my mother’s side of the family begins to truly scatter it marks a change and it requires something new from all of us. A new form of loyalty, love and effort. But I have no doubt we have it in us. We love each other too much to let each other go.

And now….my normal Sunday song. This songs means a lot to me this year as I am home for the first time in four years and my grandmother from Denver who I have not seen in years joins us for Christmas. It is called “To Be With You”.

We come in from our travels
Lay our gifts beneath the tree
my mothers in the kitchen
the parade is on tv
my father’s with his father
their setting out some toys
the kids all want the train he’s had
since he was a boy

to be with you
to be with you
i love this time of year
it always brings me here
to be with you

I fall in with my sisters
just like when we were young
my grandma holds the baby
she rocks and softly hums
we gather round the table
we close our eyes and sing
Praise God from whom all blessings flow

to be with you
to be with you
i love this time of year
it always brings me here
to be with you

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

We set our milk and cookies
the kids are quick to bed
they know St. Nick is coming
and nothing need be said
we gather by the fire
reminiscing by it’s light
the kids will be up early
but it’s hard to say goodnight

to be with you
to be with you
i love this time of year
it always brings me here
to be with you

 

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3 Comments

Filed under faith, family, Hope, life events, music, New Life, Recovery, Sunday Songs

3 responses to “we love each other too much to let each other go – “to be with you”

  1. Pam

    It’s why we talk every day. You are family, my dear Kate ❤

  2. Aunt Jane

    What a blessing to have such treasured traditions and I am so thrilled that you are taking part this year. I have always been so thankful for the extra effort your dad has taken in his relationship with our mother. Merry Christmas, Kate! Kiss Grandmom for me, thanks.

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