Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Almost There

I was feeling so good.  I was feeling so jolly.  I was feeling peaceful.

This past weekend Todd decided to take the kids and head up north since I was stuck in rehearsals and concerts and wouldn't be home much of the time. It was the perfect opportunity for me to try and tackle some of the items on my mounting To-Do list I had been fretting about all month.

Despite the nasty snowstorm that hit our area I managed to plow myself out of the driveway and get most of my Christmas shopping done. It was quite the feat, running from store to store to store in the icy snow with only a few hours to spare before my concert but I succeeded!  And I managed to score some HUGE deals.  When you have a child who asks for things like "a tornado stuffed animal" and "a tornado pillow" shopping can be difficult.  But between some specialty toy stores and some very cool finds online I think all of my kiddos will be surprised and delighted with their loot this Christmas.

The concert went beautifully on Saturday night.  It was powerful and for me it was emotional too.

You may not believe me, but I'll tell you anyway. At one point during the concert my dad made an appearance and sat with me.  It happened when I was onstage and I asked my dad to help one of the soloists with her solo (she had been struggling awfully at rehearsals all week and I was so nervous for her).  I always said my dad had the voice of an angel and I knew he would love to help another singer. The minute I asked my dad for help I saw his smiling face and heard him say, "Oh honey. That's so nice of you to ask me!" He was so honored and proud that I would think to ask him to help someone. I told him that I didn't know who the patron saint of singing was but for me he could do the job.

I felt my dad all around me. Behind me. Beside me. As the soloist sang her solo (beautifully) I saw my dad singing the words with her. It was all so overwhelming that I had all I could do to keep myself from breaking down and sobbing on stage. I thanked God for allowing my dad to be with me and giving souls the opportunity to continue to love and help each other.

I was very emotional after that and when we got to the Hallelujah Chorus and the entire audience stood throughout the whole song I was so choked up I could barely sing. As I said, it was a very powerful and emotional concert.

I left that concert feeling such a high.  Not only was the concert fabulous, I cherished the visit with my dad.  I was so happy and full of the Christmas spirit.

The whole weekend was a success.  I was so happy and excited to see my family when they came home on Sunday afternoon. I was rejuvenated.  Heck, the Packers even pulled off a monster of all come from behind wins!

And then school began again on Monday.  It has been madness every single day.  All that shopping I thought I had gotten done was just a mirage. More and more items got added to my shopping lists.  I'd forgotten this and that and the errands seem never ending.

I remembered the teacher's gift cards, but I'd forgotten their little treats.  I remembered my Christmas cards, but I hadn't ordered enough.  I addressed all the cards, but I forgot to buy stamps.  I ran out to get juice for Grace's class party only to find out the next day that I had to go back to the store and get a snack for Joey's class party.  Joey let me know last night that he had a reading for mass this morning and I definitely couldn't miss that.  And I had just enough time to go to mass and then run to the store once again for a last minute necessity for Ben's class party before I had to get to Grace's gingerbread house making party. I wrapped all the kids' presents (the earliest I had EVER done it- usually it is done on Christmas Eve eve) and then realized that the shoes I had bought Tommy and Ben when they were on sale a few months ago were already a size too small.  Back to the store I ran.

Then Ben came home from school missing a mitten and his lunch box.  Add that to the pair of gloves he lost up north this past weekend.  Today I brought Grace home from school and unloaded her backpack to see that she was also missing her mittens.  Add that to her missing snowpants I looked for for 20 minutes at school earlier in the day.

The last straw was when Tommy came bounding in the house after school today with no backpack. Apparently he left it on the bus.  So, that's good. Or, not.  I tried to track the bus down but the only option I have is to pick the backpack up at the bus station between 4:30 and 5.  I guess I can fit that in when I drop Joey off at basketball practice at 4:30 and it should give me enough time to pick up the backpack and get Ben home in time to get ready for Boy Scouts at 5:30.

Help me.

This is such a beautiful time of year.  I know that.  I witnessed it this past weekend and I'm trying to hold on to that feeling.  But sometimes, sometimes I just want to throw my hand up in the air. I surrender!

Luckily, we only have two more days of school and then the majority of the madness will all fall away. Then we will be able to focus on Christmas. The real Christmas. Not the Christmas of plays and concerts and class parties and errands and presents and running and shopping and decorating. Not the Christmas crazy.  The Christmas that is family and togetherness and love.  That Christmas.

That is the Christmas I look forward to.



Mom24 said...

So beautiful about your dad Kat.

I definitely feel you. I think I'd be much more in the mood if I could just have a decent amount of time off before Christmas. When are supposed to bake cookies? Shop together? Take a drive at night to see lights? With practices and homework and classes and school and work it just doesn't happen and it makes me sad and mad. We just decorated our tree and Mark's downstairs doing paperwork. No time to sit as a family and exhale. No time period. Good luck.

Charmaine said...

Hey Kat :) yikes that does sound hectic...hang in there...u will so enjoy the 'slow down' when it happens :)

Bijoux said...

Ok, the tornado thing cracked me up! Middle Child still requests some odd things, although it's usually just things that aren't made anymore, like gel pens or a Cosby show tshirt!

Glad your Dad was with you in spirit! Have a fabulous real Christmas!

Kat said...

Wanna hear the kicker? After all of that racing around and we got to the bus depot we found out that Tommy's backpack WAS NOT on the bus. Then I had to race back to school to find someone to open the doors for us and we searched around and found it in the hallway. Stinking kid. Good news is that I also found Grace's snowpants. Good grief.

Bijoux- Ben is my little storm chaser. He has been obsessed with tornados for about 3 years now. He wants a tornado pillow SO BAD and I found a place that ( makes stuff like that. I am so excited to give him his tornado pillow. He is also getting a "Storm Chaser" shirt, baseball cap and notebook. All of them have tornado pictures on them. So good. He is gonna freak out! The other kids have some "freak out" gifts too so I am pretty happy with my finds. :) Love it when that happens.

Hilary said...

I can only imagine how very hectic it would be with four kidlets - each creating the same demands with school and other aspects of their lives. Not to mention your busy personal schedule. It will all come together and you'll have that wonderful family time to enjoy. Lovely story about your dad. Hugs to you, Kat.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm glad you had that peaceful weekend to balance the madness of the week.
I've screwed up my kids' basketball schedule THREE TIMES this week. On one of them, D and T drove to SHERWOOD and sat in an empty parking lot because I thought he had a game.
Oy. I hear ya, sister.

Wisconsin Girl said...

Wishing you and your family a beautiful Christmas after all of this madness. And what an amazing experience you had at the concert with your dad...I believe in those things and I'm glad he came to be with you at such a special time. Amazing!

betty said...

Wow, didn't put two and two together (slow here sometimes, LOL) but you are in Wisconsin, so of course you would like the Packers. Our next door neighbors (the man, not the lady) is a big Packers fan even though he lived in Los Angeles, LOL, but his dad was a Packers fan. Every week that he can he has a party for fellow Packer fans (they advertise on FB with it) and son smokes meat for the gathering. We've become secondary Packer fans (we are in Charger terrority) and the game you mentioned was a GREAT one. We really thought it was a goner!

I can't imagine keeping track of four kids gloves, mittens, boots, backpacks, etc. Doing for two wore be out.

Honestly, I'm not sure how it works after someone passes. Can they come back like you experienced with your dad? Can they hear us if we talk to them? I really don't know. I haven't found too many clear cut things in the Bible either way and that's my litmus test on what is true and what is not. I know after my mom died I never felt her, never felt she was around me or I could talk with her. I did ask Jesus to tell her "hi" and take care of her and to tell her she was the best mom. However, in saying all this, I think it is wonderful you had the experience you had with your dad at the concert.

I do believe when it all settles down, you and yours will have the most beautiful of Christmases.


Cyndy @ Back in the Bush said...

I totally believe that your Dad visited you, and now I'm all teary.
I hope you get some time to just relax and enjoy the real Christmas.

Kat said...

Betty- I think everyone might experience afterlife differently since we all value different aspects of peace and love. But I do think that our loved ones are constantly around us if we want them to be. And sometimes we may even feel them if we are lucky. I didn't have one dream of my dad or feel him around me until 3 years after he had passed. My mom felt him around all the time and spoke with him too. However, when my sister died (over 40 years ago) my mom didn't have that experience. I think spirit gives us what we need, when we need it, though we may not understand that here. I know people of certain faiths (my cousin for instance) really don't like it when I say that I asked my dad or my grandma for help with something. They feel that you should go directly to God. And of course I do. But I don't think God is a jealous God. I think He is a loving God that wants us to love and help each other and He likes it when we ask a loved one for help. And of course it is GOD that makes it possible for my father to help me when I ask (if I am meant to be helped).

ANYWAY... I could go on and on and on about this subject. I think my dad makes himself known to me because I do have this weird fear of death sometimes. And even though I have faith once in a while I panic and think "what if there is nothing?" and then I have a mini panic attack. I'm silly like that, and I think God wants to reassure me. And it definitely works.

Anita said...

Your Christmas story continues for me in January. It's still bittersweet.
Your desire to please your kids, your singing, your Dad's appearance - all very sweet.

The stress - not good.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson