Monday, December 15, 2003

Yes ...... have been up north for a few days.
Family and friends. Memories and feelings.
Food and non-work conversations.

Because of my work and the Christmas feelings I have confronting me I have been asking others of their childhood memories. Some only good. Some memories removed from the mind ...... and others ........ even among friends .........dread.

Lots of the traditions are continuing. Bigger socks left for santa and expectations of multiple presents not just one.

Special food, clusters of family members and ........

I am working on Christmas Eve
then a late evening drinks outing ...... water as I will drive home
day of delight with daughters and Joan ..... plus visits to friends
Boxing with Cinderella .... at the Opera House hey hey
then a few days of chill before
a few days in Brugge to let the new year in.

I love these things. I also want to love people. It is easy to love the people who love me and like me. The people who don't love themselves or like anything about themselves ........ I love them in a different way. Even if I feel that there is not much love to give me. Or they don't like me, or don't know how to show it.

I remember when I worked in the east-end and my Mother was about to go into hospital to have both her legs amputated. The loud and extrovert youth worker with always something big and in-your-face to say was quiet. The hard guys knew about my situation. The had found out and could tell I had a troubled soul. The air was full of inarticulate nothing. I wasn't communicating and they didn't too.
I was sitting at one side of this big snooker table with my back to the wall. On my own. Still. One of the leaders of one of the gangs was at the other side of the table prowling. Inarticulate prowling. He then walked around the table slowly and, as he passed, he brushed my hair gently from my forehead. ...... and walked on.

It was a powerful moment.
Words he didn't have and yet that very action was the most powerful communication which I will remember all my life. He was saying something non-verbally. He was showing affection. In my vulnerability, he was there for me. It makes me sob inside now as I think about it .... and him.

My Mother survived the operation and lived for another ten years or so.
Danny still didn't talk much. The most he ever said to me was when I went to court with him sometime later. I was just there in support but he did say this, as he removed his rings ..... "If I get put down, can you give these to my Mother?

Why has this clicked out onto the page when I was talking about Christmas? I did not plan this. I think it is because, sometimes you cannot do a damn thing with people .........sometimes. The only thing often is just being there. Maybe not many or any words. Just being. Loving.

I think Christmas is a bit like this. God loving so much. Deciding that the best thing is to be there. God deciding he will be there with us. Then coming to us as a vulnerable human being ............ a babe......... born in straw poverty.