Holi-Day (part one) by A.J.
So far, my Christmas weekend is off to a nice start. I love the Christmas season. . . I love Christmas decorations, I love sending and receiving cards, I love giving and receiving gifts, I love Christmas movies, I love the time with family and friends, I love the special meal, I love the cold and snow (when we get it), and I love my Christmas music, which I add to each year, this year it was a double album by Harry Connick Jr. (he's excellent).
I will be honest though, the actual Christmas day. . . I dislike. It is when all reality comes to a head. I dread the day, as I do each Holi-day, each year. Unfortunately, my previous time in prison left me some kinda damaged, because this didn't change when I was free from prison. I celebrated the season each year, loved it, but when the actual day would come, I struggled. You'd think being free from prison would have gave me ample reason to be joyful and thankful, and truly enjoy the Holi-day. . .
Now that I'm back in prison, this my sixth Christmas back, it is more of the same, but, I am going to try this, something new, to blog thru the weekend and in doing so, hopefully help me to focus on the blessings rather than what I'm missing, we'll see how it goes :-)
Friday, December 22nd began with a visit from my good friend, Annette. We had a nice couple hours together, ate some quality vending machine food, and fattening soda pop :-). I also had a craving for ice cream, which I don't often eat, because dairy just isn't all that nice to my Crohns Disease, but I splurged (and somewhat paid for it) and ate two different selections. This wonderful M and M ice cream sandwhich, absolutely delicious! Later, when I realized that craving hadn't left, I chose to have a Heath ice cream bar with a root beer to somewhat mimic a root beer float, it was tasty :-) We continued our visit with visiting off and on, combined with a game of SkipBo and Sorry. I got donkey stomped in SkipBo, and we didn't finish our Sorry game in time, as we kept having to say, "Sorry", as we sent each other back to start, time and time again,it was fun though :-) I then returned to my friend Brandon, who God has blessed me with. It helps when you make yourself a good friend in this otherwise lonely place. He, later, cooked us some very tasty nachos. My mom calls him 'my new chef'. Prior to Brandon there was Jose, who went home, and who I miss terribly. Both great cooks, both blessings from God.
Saturday December 23rd has begun with a bang! I have a hard time waking up early, despite setting my alarms, I manage to not hear them, or just shut them off, all three! Usually I don't even realize I've done so. Today, nearly out of toilet paper, I HAD to get up. They only hand it out at 7am, so before going to sleep I asked for the Lord's help. 'Please make sure I'm up at 6:45.' I don't recall a time this hasn't worked, so I don't use it as an option too often, because I clearly don't really want to get up, as 'hard' as I sometimes try. So, of course I woke up, got my toilet paper, but then my bed was SHOUTING my name. I returned to see whatever could be wrong, and sure enough, it was there waiting for me, lonely as can be. So, the kind person that I am, I returned to it, so it didn't have to be lonely, and I set my alarm again, this time for 930 because I had a video visit setup for 10am, with my good friend Leontien.
You guessed it, prior to closing my eyes, I gave a quick shout out to the good Man upstairs, 'please be sure I'm up by 930'. As always, He got me up a little before that, and I jumped (okay, slithered) to the shower and was out just in time for my 10am video visit. Not only did I get to visit with Leontien, her entire family made a appearance. Daughters Vivian and Rosa, and husband Mildo. It was a wonderful visit, some translating was done from English to Dutch and visa versa. They are my friends, and (Leontien) the Secretary of Cornerstone Ministry, who live in the Netherlands, aka Holland. To see all their bright and shining faces, and even to have 'We wish you a Merry Christmas' sung to me (in English), was so special. My day was clearly kicked off to a good start. Before the visit ended, I turned to my right to see Brandon there waiting for me to get off the computer, another nice surprise to awake to.
On the schedule for the rest of the day is a visit with my mom, and time spent with Brandon. Some other wonderful things going on, thanks to Cornerstone Ministry, Brandon's son, and his son's older brother, will have a nice Christmas, as Jason, the V.P., will be delivering toys to the boys, on Christmas day, gifts to them from Brandon. I ask that you pray for these two boys (Brody and Zayden), the boy's mom (Brittany), and Brandon. All have their share of things to work on, and struggles. The tale end of 2017 has begun a new chapter in their lives, as well as Cornerstone Ministry's life as it works to help them all, especially Brandon, to help him get on the right path, not only for himself, but also for his son.