Memories have a funny way of doing things...

I want a good rainy day... one where it pours down with thunder in my ears and lightening in the sky.

but since as I type this there is snow falling outside I don't see that happening any time soon. this time of year is always interesting for me. I don't remember hardly anything from my childhood. seriously, there are blurbs here and there but mostly I hear stories and I remember emotions. but for some reason this time of year brings about an array of memories, all flooding into my head.

I remember my dad left when it was cold outside, we lived in this tiny house next to an Asian family who had chickens in their backyard. strange huh? I remember my grandmother's death, sitting in the den of my grandparents house with the multi-color Christmas tree lights blurred by my tears. I remember the time I went to the store with my mom to buy our Christmas dinner and presents and having to walk away from our full shopping basket because someone had stolen my mom's wallet with the Christmas cash she had skimped and saved for.

I remember staring at this nativity scene we had for years. It was nothing fancy, little ceramic figurines placed inside a wooden patio with little ugly moss glued to the top.Thinking back it had definitely seen better days but I thought it was the most beautiful thing, I would sit there and replay the Christmas story in my head imagining each piece coming to life.

Out of all my childhood memories, this is one of the most prominent in my mind, a little junky looking nativity scene that had no real significance except for the story behind it.

I know it is supposed to be embarrassing for my generation to have grown up poor. I tried my best to hide or forget it for a long time.But, as I start establishing my own family and traditions there are several things I can glean on from the experiences I had as a child. Presents were never the focus of Christmas in my home. I can't remember ever writing a letter to Santa Claus listing out items that I wanted. It was a foreign concept to me.

As the years go on I am learning to be more and more grateful for my personal life experiences. And while some of these consisted of living nightmares that I would wish upon no one, there is choice I have to make in remembering. I can focus on the horrid, the unimaginable, the loss and suffering, or I can remember the beauty of the nativity scene moments and the priceless lessons I learned from them.

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