Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cardinals, Snowy Days, and Christmas...

... these are all things that remind me so much of my mom. She would have loved the snow that came down over the past 24 hours as she loved winter and watching snow fall...


(click any photos to enlarge - cardinal outside window today)

Mom also loved cardinals, and one showed up outside our dining room window today, sitting on a branch for the longest time...


Mom loved Christmas. She loved everything about it - decorating the house, singing Christmas carols, enjoying family, all of us riding around to look at Christmas lights, watching Christmas movies on TV, sending and receiving Christmas cards... everything about the season...


(Mom and my sister, Christmas in the 80's)

Every year her mirror was trimmed with holly, and Rudolph always had a place of honor right in the center...


Mom's manger, shown here with mom & dad's cat, Gypsy, in the background (photo from the 80's)


Mom and Dad, Christmas 1957

Mom passed away 12 years ago today and was buried on Christmas Eve day. I didn't know how I would ever get through Christmas that year, let alone ever enjoy one again. Mom was always cheerful and happy, and the last thing she would have wanted was for us to be sad... Time is also a great healer... grief subsides and tears are eventually replaced by happy memories, shared stories, and laughter.
Anyhow, I thought about you a lot today, Mom... You loved snowy days, and watching the birds and squirrels (especially your cardinals!). You would have loved today, so I captured the day in photos for you... and I smiled as I thought about you...

(our backyard Saturday afternoon)


(a junco at the bird feeder Friday afternoon)


(the bird feeder this morning, piled high with snow from overnight)


(a gentle mourning dove at the feeder Saturday afternoon)


(a junco at the feeder Saturday afternoon)


(the male cardinal, from the dining room window)


(isn't he striking in this winter wonderland?)


(I think he rather liked having his picture taken)


(a snowy Sammy eating sunflower seeds)


(The angle of the lace valance in this photo reminded me of a church window)


(Christmas day, 1980's)
Merry Christmas, Mom... We love you! You were, and always will be, the best Mom/Nana ever!

All my love, always...
Donna

21 comments:

TattingChic said...

I have never seen a cardinal in real life. We don't have them out West. I love the lace framing the top of the window. It does look like a church window, just like you said! :)

tam said...

Awww Donna what a sweet post! I am sure your mother is there in spirit smiling with you as you shared such precious memories!
Merry Christmas!
~Tam :)

Joanne Kennedy said...

Your post made me cry. I can feel the pain of missing her in your words.

Every Christmas I miss my mom so much. She was like your mom and loved Christmas. They have never been the same since she died.

Hugs,
Joanne

Claudie said...

My have blue jays, finches, chickadees and one in a while a cardinal. We love feeding our little friends while the temp. drops and the snow falls.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful mom and may heart be filled with wonderful memories of her .
She is looking down on you for sure.
Claudie from Canada

Lady of the Mote said...

beautiful post,know your mom is smiling.

Adrienne said...

Hi Donna -
A wonderful tribute to your mother. I think of my dear father at this time of year and always wish he were with us. He loved Christmas so much. Now he would enjoy our grandchildren so much as their excitement spills over to each of us. You have precious memories - treasure each one. She is always with you in your heart.
~Adrienne~

belladella said...

I think that cardinal is a sign that your mom is indeed enjoying the snow and Christmas right along with you. Our loved ones are never far away.

Blessings and Merry Christmas.

Connie said...

I love reading posts about people we love, honey. I know how it is to miss people we love so much the pain never subsides.

I'm putting up some posts this week about hubby and a tribute to him and what he does for this family. Then more "decorating the pink rooms"!! I'll never be done with the office and the craft/sewing rooms. *Sigh* But they are definitely pink now and looking so much better.

Sweet nostalgic posts, my little chick..........

Smooches and Merry Christmas
Connie

Liz said...

Oh Donna! This post gave me such a lump in my throat. My mom is ill and has been in the hospital for the whole month. She will be coming home and staying with us over Christmas. I feel blessed to have one more holiday with her.

Merry Christmas!
~Liz

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Donna, That was such a loving tribute to your Mom, it made me cry; Christmas is the hardest holiday without Mom. I miss mine all year long, but never more than at Christmas. All the traditions and memories help get me through the season. You are right, if your Mom loved Christmas, she wouldn't want you to be sad at this wonderful time of year.

Anonymous said...

Your post was such an awesome tribute to your mother. I know that Christmas isn't the same for me without my dad but I still have Mom. By the way, she loves, loves, loves Cardinals. Wish we had them here in WA. state.

Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas! Debbi

Jean Tuthill said...

Hi Donna, Yow have posted the most wonderful, from the heart, tribute to you Mom. I'm sure she is with you always and that you probably feel her presence around you. She is alive in your heart! I lost my sister two years ago and I know she is with me a lot and that makes me feel better. My Mom is still with us, she's 86, and we're all heading to Disney on Jan 15th with her,(28 of us), can't wait, that'll be part of our Christmas! And we'll all be together then!

Stephanie said...

Such sweet memories, thanks for sharing them. Sounds like she was a great blessing in your life.

Stephanie

Tracey said...

Hello Donna, my sister is at Rural Maine Life. I went to St. Bernard's school in Fitchburg in 1969-1972. I remember going downtown to Woolworth's and popping a balloon to get $$ off the ice cream sundae I would buy at the counter. I loved going to "Drums in the Night" that use to be at St. Bernard's Field and loved all that it meant to me growing up. Thanks for leaving a comment on my sister's blog and love to find a kindred spirit. Oh, my husband just finished reading "The Shack" also,, and he loved it.

laurie said...

What beautiful pictures, and what a touching post about your lovely mother. I have no doubt that your mother is very proud of you right now. laurie

Jill said...

Beautiful tribute to your mom Donna...I know how deeply you miss her. Love you saw the red bird and he posed for you....you know how we believe in those signs. Stay warm in all that snow.....Jill

Claudia said...

What a lovely, loving tribute to your Mom. I'm sure she is with you in spirit - enjoying the snow, loving the cardinal, and most importantly, loving you and your family.

Thrifty Miss Priss said...

What a sweet tribute! My mom is sick and I cherrish the memories of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! It must have been so hard to loose your mom, and right at Christmas. I'm so happy you can enjoy the season again and enjoy the memories.

Pat said...

Dera Donna

I'm sure your Mom is with you in spirit every Christmas.

I know how hard it is to lose someone before a holiday as I lost my Dad the wednesday before Easter when I was 18 and we had to wait until the day after Easter for the burial -- a very long sad wait.

Now when Easter comes I think of him and know he is with us and he is also in Jesus's loving arms.

Peace and love in the new year!

Hugs, Pat

Susie Q said...

What a truly moving tribute to your beautiful mother.
It is so hard but yes, grief subsides and tears are replaced by warm smiles..
We lost my dad 7 years ago and my husband's parents, his Mom in Aug, his dad in Dec, 3 years ago.

She was a dear woman and she raised a wonder of a daughter!

Angie said...

What a lovely blog you have here. Snow and cardinals also make me think of Christmas - even in February.