November 14, 2007

Grandpa Mascunana and Christmas

Our grandfather, Jorge Mascunana, legally adopted my sister and me.
A co-worker surprised me the other day with some bad news. She was feeling depressed and at her wits end. Usually the noisiest person in the place and bubbly with laughter, I have sometimes felt like I was no fun at all around her. Now she confided that she felt used by everyone, overwhelmed with work and unloved by her family. She was even considering leaving the nursing profession. I was speechless. If this wonderful selfless energetic fun-loving friend could feel so helpless, how many other people are going through the same feelings and not expressing them?

The other night coming home from a little outing with my husband, one of those monster trucks sat on my bumper and gave our car a long rude honk!

“Did I do something wrong?” I asked my husband in alarm.

“No darlin’. You’re a good driver,’ he assured me. (Even if I hit the hammer a little hard and tailgate when I’m deep in thought.)

We decided that the man was angry about something and was taking it out on our car – or at least “me”. At an intersection, he pulled up beside us huffing and puffing his engine and didn’t even look our way.

Jim and I agreed that a lot of people are angry these days. Frustrated with lack of TLC (tender loving care), overwhelming debt, unresolved disputes, marriage disappointments, too much bad news in the world and a lack of personal relationship with God or anyone else.

There’s a change in the air as we approach a new season and the holidays starting with Thanksgiving next week. Our insecurities and worries become like dark shadows that follow us everywhere. We can become sad at times and downright morose all the time.

Family relationships in distress seem vulgar and ghostly. Financial difficulties become worrisome and depressing. Past hurts feel stronger. Unresolved pressures cause us to lash out at others.

As the seasonal music already permeates through the sound waves, (Right now I hear, “Have A Holly Jolly Christmas This Year” on the digital channel of my TV), we can’t escape the expectations and challenges of the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.

My oldest son has a belief system that includes a greater picture than Santa and lots of Christmas gifts. Yet, he has to admit it’s difficult if not impossible NOT to succumb to some of the expectations of the season. (Like mom wanting him home for Christmas and putting lights on a tree in the front yard.)

Last night while picking up a bunch of pictures that fell on top of my head as I was looking for a box of Christmas cards on the top shelf of my closet, I came across a letter that my dear “Grandpa Mascunana” (Jorge Mascunana) had written to me almost 40 years ago while I was in nursing school in Dayton, Ohio and feeling lonely for the family.
(He always referred to grandma (his wife) as "mother". He only referred to himself as "daddy" in his letters to us. - all other times he was "grandpa".)

”I talked to Mother on the phone last night…She told me you are feeling lonesome. Linda, my dear, don’t feel that way. Remember, Linda, this old man, has not forgot you. My love, my heart is yours. I love my two little girls (of course they are not little now, but that’s how I always called you)…Have courage and always remember our Lord and Mother and this old man! that loves you and always will. Be cheerful. Will you promise me that? Yes. I guess and I must close with all my love. God bless my dear girl. ~
Daddy ~PS All my people send you love."

So, to all my readers here. I encourage you to remember that you are not forgotten, and you are loved. Please, be cheerful. "Will you promise me that?"

Take Care on the Journey,



Clay Feet said...

Very moving and inspiring. Thanks for sharing all this.

The Cat's Meow said...

Grandpa never wrote me letters, but I know he always LOVED us. He was the sweetest man I've ever known. I'm glad he became our Daddy/Grandpa.
Happy Holidays,