Christmas Love


This is the time of year when I miss my parents the most because Christmas was always such a big deal in my family. My parents celebrated Christmas as if they were kids, making sure that my siblings and I had lasting memories.

Which I do.

And which I will always hold deep within my heart.

Whenever I share a post about my parents and my childhood, I must include photographs of both my mothers because I was blessed with two.

One was my birth mother, and the other was a lovely lady who my father married several years after my birth mother passed away.

And I'm not just saying this because these women were my mothers, but these two ladies were incredibly special.

I think of them both as angels.

Because that's what they were.

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This is a wedding photo of my father (Frank) and my birth mother.

Her name was Mary...


This is my father with my second mother.

Her name was Ruth-Ann, but preferred to be called, Ann.

And although she was not my biological mother, I just naturally thought of her as my mother...


This is me (4-years old), sitting on my brand new hobbyhorse that I got for Christmas in 1959.

You can tell I was very proud of it, can't you?

I think I look a little like John Wayne in the rough and tough movie, True Grit...

This is me now, at 64-years old.

And as you can tell, I still act like a silly elf...


You know, my parents and childhood were far from perfect. However, I know that my parents did the best they could with what they knew at that time, as parents. Later in life my parents and I even had some really intense differences, which sometimes led to arguments and distance. Trust me, my childhood and my relationship with my parents was not always smooth-sailing.

But I will tell you one thing that I know in my heart of hearts.

I was loved.

So, whenever I look back on my childhood and my parents (and Christmas), I can honestly say that I don't ever focus on the differences.

I only focus on the love.

Because that's what I truly remember.


Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, and Blessed New Year!
X

26 comments

  1. I feel a tad envious that you had two mothers but I won't go into the reason why just now. The love of my life was my father and was until the day he died. Both parents have left this earth but my thoughts stay with my Dad.

    Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and please accept my thanks for providing an interesting blog. We go back a long way!

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  2. I love seeing your photos, Ron. What stunning mothers you had, and your dad was handsome as well. I had the same horse! My mom said I rode that thing like a crazy person. The idea makes me seasick now! Lol.

    I've been missing my dad, too. It's been 14 months and for some reason, it's hit me hard all of a sudden. I just think about how much my dad would have enjoyed his great grandchildren.

    Your top photo is so gorgeous. I hope your holiday is full of love and peace. Merry Christmas, my friend. XO

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  3. The resemblance is uncanny, pilgrim.

    You are lucky to have had two special women in your life you considered mothers. No childhood is perfect, but if all these years later you know in your heart you were loved, well...there's no better gift than that, my friend.

    Have a merry Christmas!

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  4. What a healthy way of viewing the past, Ron! Yes, family life can be challenging, but focusing on the GOOD times -- rather than the difficulties -- is the best way to enjoy the present. You're blessed to have had two moms. I wonder if most of us secretly wouldn't have liked that, especially when Mom said something embarrassing or disagreeable (which all moms probably do, though inadvertently). Both your moms were beauties, and your dad looks quite happy in these photos.


    Merry Christmas to you and yours, my friend. Never forget you were (and are) loved! xo

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  5. Ron, what a beautiful post! Your father was so handsome, and your mothers so beautiful! And judging from your heartfelt words, I could tell that they loved you and you loved them.

    The picture of you on the horse is so adorable. What a cute little man you are!

    Merry Christmas to you! X

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  6. Ron, whenever you share stories about your childhood and your parents, I can always tell how blessed you were, and how blessed they were having you as their child.

    I love the photographs. Wow...your father and mothers were so attractive!

    You on your hobbyhorse is so precious! What a cutie pie you are.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2020! xoxo

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  7. " The love of my life was my father and was until the day he died. Both parents have left this earth but my thoughts stay with my Dad."

    Valerie, I am so happy to know that you had a close and loving bond with your father. My mother (stepmother) also had a close and loving bond with her father, but no so much with her mother. Like you, her father was the love of her life.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear friend And thank YOU for sharing your talents and your life with us on your blog. I always enjoy reading your posts.

    Merry Christmas and love to you, dear friend!
    X

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  8. Aw...thank you. I feel so blessed to have had the parents I did. Looking back, all I can ever recall is the "good stuff."

    "I had the same horse! My mom said I rode that thing like a crazy person. The idea makes me seasick now! Lol."

    OMG...that is so funny!!! Remember when those horses were very popular with kids back then?

    "I've been missing my dad, too. It's been 14 months and for some reason, it's hit me hard all of a sudden. I just think about how much my dad would have enjoyed his great grandchildren."

    I know exactly how you feel because the lose of my parents hit me very hard several years after they passed away. My father died in 1993, my mother in 2012. I especially get very teary-eyed and emotional this time of year because of the wonderful childhood memories I have. This is the time of year when I feel them very close to me.

    Thanks! I took that photograph of a decorated Christmas tree in front of a store in Old City, Philadelphia. Aren't the colors fabulous?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    X to you!

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  9. "The resemblance is uncanny, pilgrim."

    HA! Thank you for seeing it too!

    "No childhood is perfect, but if all these years later you know in your heart you were loved, well...there's no better gift than that, my friend."

    You said that so accurately, Mark, and so perfectly! Yes!

    Wishing you and Tara a faaaaaaaaaaabulous Christmas and New Year!

    X to you both!

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  10. Thank you so much for your sweet words, Denise! And you're right....I do feel very blessed to have had the parents AND childhood that I did. I miss my parents dearly, but especially this time of year.

    It's funny because even though I was only 4 years old in that photograph, I can still remember how excited I was to get that hobbyhorse for Christmas!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and faaaaaabulous 2020!!!!!

    X

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  11. Thank you, Candice.

    You know, losing your parents is something that you never fully get over because the older I get, the more I miss them; especially this time of year because I have such wonderful memories.

    OMG...I LOVED that horse! I still remember how happy I was when I saw it sitting under the Christmas tree that year.

    Merry Christmas to you, my friend! And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  12. You were truly blessed, Ron. The love and stability that you had in your childhood resonates today within the fantastic man that you've become. You were fortunate to have two beautiful mothers whom I fully believe are angels. And I admittedly envy the positive relationship you had with your father.


    I love the photos that you shared - and you were a cute tyke on that rocking horse. I had a wooden rocking horse as a small child , which indicates the primitive era of my tender youth...
    I couldn't help noticing all those Christmas cards hanging in the background of your photo. That was a wonderful tradition (I remember my parents doing the same thing).


    Have a glorious Christmas, filled with warm memories - and a new year filled with great adventures.
    Your comments were always a treasured bright spot on my dismal blog....

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  13. "Yes, family life can be challenging, but focusing on the GOOD times -- rather than the difficulties -- is the best way to enjoy the present. "

    Debbie, you are spot on about that. Yes, family can most definitely be challenging, but what's odd is that as the years pass it's not any of the challenges that I remember, it's only the love that I shared between my parents. And especially at this time of year, I'm reminded of just how loved I was.

    Yes, I was blessed to have had the two moms I was given because I feel as though I was blessed twice, with a mother who brought me into this world, and another mother who brought me through this world.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. And thanks so much for your sweet words.

    X

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  14. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comDecember 24, 2019

    This time of year is about love. And knowing you were loved is the greatest gift of all.

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  15. Ron, as I've always shared with you throughout these years of reading your blog, I learn a lot from your life experiences. Many of which I reflect back on when I go through a similar experiences and draw insight from what you've shared. Regardless of what challenging things have happened in your life, you have the great gift of turning them around and finding the "gem" (the blessing) within them. That's how I want to be.

    The photos of your parents are so beautiful. Both your mothers look like angels! And that photo of you is stellar!

    Merry Christmas, dude! Looking forward to reading your blog this coming year.

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  16. Ron, I wanted to stop by before I left to spend Christmas with family in New York. I can't wait to see all the decorations in the city this week. We will be back next week.

    This post is so touching, Ron. The way you described your childhood and parents got me a bit teary-eyed because I could feel the love you shared.

    "So, whenever I look back on my childhood and my parents (and Christmas), I can honestly say that I don't ever focus on the differences. I only focus on the love. Because that's what I truly remember."

    I love how you said that because I have the same outlook. No one has a perfect childhood or parents, however, it's all in what we choose to focus on.

    Thank you for sharing this post, Ron. Your parents are so lovely!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! x

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  17. Hello there Elaine!

    Oh how WONDERFUL! To be in New York this holiday is the BEST! There is nothing quite like it. I'll be going there sometime in early January, right before they take all the decorations down. Can't wait!

    "I love how you said that because I have the same outlook. No one has a perfect childhood or parents, however, it's all in what we choose to focus on."

    You are spot on about that!. I agree...no childhood or parents are perfect, but it's all in what we choose to focus on and remember. And for me, I remember the LOVE.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're having a spectacular Christmas in my favorite city!

    X and Cheers to you and your husband!

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  18. Matt, thank so much for your kind words. I'm happy to know that my life experiences have given you some insight when you've needed it. It's the same with me, I've gotten inspiration from others when I've needed it as well. We learn from one another. I think my outlook on my life comes from seeing life as a leaning experience. So even the challenging moments are "gems" (blessings} because they taught me something.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

    X

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  19. I agree, Fiona. This time of year IS about love. And I feel so blessed to have had parents that loved me. And I them.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    X

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  20. Jon, thanks so much for your sweet and kind words.

    And yes, I was sooooo fortunate to have had two incredible mothers. And what I feel especially blessed about is that my stepmother and I immediately had such a close and loving bond, as if we were biological. And we also very much a like.

    I was closer to my mothers than my father, however, he was a very good man who I know loved me in his own way. My father was not very demonstrative in his affection, but I always knew that he loved us in his heart. He was also very funny and upbeat.

    "I couldn't help noticing all those Christmas cards hanging in the background of your photo. That was a wonderful tradition (I remember my parents doing the same thing)."

    HA! Yes...that was SO 1950's!!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, healthy, and blessed 2020!

    X

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  21. Ron, this is such a beautiful post! I love the photos of your parents and that one of you on the hobbyhorse. (Of course the dancing elf will ALWAYS be my favorite!)

    And I also love your insights about your relationship with your parents. You were indeed loved and recognizing that it so important. I think the movies and TV shows often give us sappy, unrealistic views of family life.

    Things can be so difficult in real life, people can have some terrible fights. But that doesn't mean they stop loving each other.

    I hope you had a great Christmas, buddy, and I'm wising you all the best for 2020!

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  22. Thank you, Rob! :) Every year around this time I get such strong feelings about my parents because they always made the holiday so special for us. They were like kids themselves, enjoyed seeing Christmas though our eyes.

    " I think the movies and TV shows often give us sappy, unrealistic views of family life." Yes...I think you're absolutely right about that. Like some out of Norman Rockwell painting. I don't understand how some people say they had the perfect family life with no challenges. I just don't understand how that could be possible. Like you said, in real life people can have some terrible fights, but that doesn't mean they stop loving each other.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Hope you're Christmas was FAB-U-LOUS!

    The all the very best to you in 2020!

    Cheers and X

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  23. Ron, I cannot express how much I appreciate your attitude! Not only about Christmas, but about your parents and childhood. So many would be tempted to use the challenges you faced as a reason to hold grudges and resentments.Your perspective of focusing on love instead of differences is wonderful. The simple fact that you hold both those women close to your heart speaks volumes about your own heart's condition. And, yes, I think it's obvious that you are still a silly elf!! X

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  24. Lisa, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, it was beautiful!

    I feel so blessed to have had these two women as my mothers. I feel doubly wealthy because each one taught me the meaning of LOVE.

    And when I look back on my childhood, all I feel is that love.

    "And, yes, I think it's obvious that you are still a silly elf!! "

    HA! You're right!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

    X

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  25. What a loving, beautiful post. It really resonated for me because my childhood was difficult in many ways but I, too, knew I was loved. And that counts for a lot. I love the photos of both your moms and your little cowboy photo, too.

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  26. Thank you. Glad to hear that it resonated with you. Isn't it something that no matter what transpired in our childhoods, we always knew (felt) that we were loved? I feel very blessed about that.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend! Happy Belated Christmas and New Year!

    X

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