This is the time of year I like to sit back and take a visit to my earlier years when times were really tough.
When I was a kid, we were so poor; the people on Welfare were considered better off. My father usually got laid off from his bricklaying job around this time so things got really got tight.
We had coal and wood burning stoves to cook and keep warm. My grandfather would go to the fish market and get old crates to chop up for firewood. My Grandfather always cut extra wood to sell so he could buy our turkey. Meanwhile, my brother and I would take our wagon and go to the coal yard to buy a bag of coal for 60 cents.
My family would never accept charity from anyone so we were left to our own resources.
My Mother and Grandmother would buy a crate of celery and go door to door selling it. My brother and I would run errands ...view middle of the document...
Somehow they always had one too many and they would ask us to take it off their hands.
My Father, brother, and I would sit for hours changing light bulbs trying to find the one that was bad in the string of lights from last year. After much frustration, we finally got them to work. Then we finally felt like it was really Christmas and we promised each other that somehow next year, we would get new lights.
Around 4:30 P.M., my brother and I would head up the street to the Woolworth five and dime store to buy our presents. There were the oversized ties that nobody would ever wear and the hair pins that would sit in a drawer for years to come.
But everybody was happy to receive the presents because a lot more went into buying them than just money.
In these modern days we complain that life is tough and unfair and many people look for a hand-out. Life was hard back in my childhood days but we had then what we do not have today, strength within the family. We were not ashamed to go to church and we believed that God and the state were two beings depending on each other.
Back in those days, putting pictures of our relatives serving in the military in the window with a wreath, was an honor, and going to church at mid-night on Christmas Eve was a must.
Life was hard back then but we didn’t lose our compassion for others like we have today.
Many times through my life things have gotten difficult and I felt like giving up but then I take a trip back through the ripples of time to that old 4 room cinder block shack that I called home, and suddenly, the trouble passes.
A lot of people today, search for the wealth of silver and gold to give them warmth and comfort. But compared to the warmth and comfort of memories, gold and silver doesn’t stand a chance.
Many people spend their lives searching for the meaning of life and try to guess what heaven is like. I am lucky, I’ve already seen it. And if I’m good enough and live the right way, I will return someday forever.