In the Form of a Gift

This is an exceptionally hard Christmas season. It will be my mothers last and Mr. Scotland and I will be home alone without children and family. If I didn't think that was tough enough, I am awaiting today a call from our pups veterinarian as to whether our furry child has cancer. As soon as I heard that "C" word, my brain shut down. All my Christmas chores were left undone; I just went home.

Amongst the 'tough-stuff' I had one of the best Christmas presents given to me last weekend. My eldest son Matthew had the opportunity to visit us at the last minute here in Houston. It's been six long months since we got to spend time together and have the joy of driving each other nuts!

For you young parents, the most endearing part of when your children become adults is their sharing of personal memories; their version, through their eyes. This of course could be a great thing or quite the opposite, quite like Russian Roulette I would think?

This was my gift -

"Mom, I don't see skin color. When I see people, I see them as humans not as African American, Latino, Asian, and so on. I am totally against forms that even have the question of our origin printed on it. I will never fill in those blanks, and no one should. For a country that is fighting against racism and stereotyping, why is the question even presented"?

The reason as to why or why not the question is valid is not what is important. As a parent it was one of those moments that a bolt a lightning shoots through your heart and you realize you did something right raising your child (children).

Matt in China
Christmas with mom 2008 - my children + cousins

mine - Christmas 2006 in Houston
Christmas in WA 09 - my kids + cousins

{go forth & live responsibly}
Children are Christmas


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear your news. When I am having a tough go of things I try to take things one day at a time. Dont come up with horrid imaginings and what ifs, just take things as they come.
Ill be thinking of you.
*kisses* HH

Averill said...

How stressful, Deb! I sincerely hope the vet has good news for you when she calls.

I'm spending this Christmas with my in-laws and while I care for them and enjoy spending time with them, it's just not the same as Christmas at home with my family. Ah well...maybe next year will be better for us both?! Let's hope.

lisa golightly said...

Deb, I'm so sorry about what's going on. I'll keep you and your furry child in my thoughts and prayers. Amazing how much clarity we get during tough times about what's important, huh ? I will give my 3 teenagers extra hugs today. Children ARE Christmas !! You are ringing such truth !


Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

Dearest Deb,

My heart aches for you and your trying times. I'll be thinking fiercely of your sweet pup and hoping the C word translates to the last part of TLC versus the other.

Your children sound magnificent, and you should pat yourself on the back for raising such open-minded and loving souls. The world needs more like them.

I'll be thinking of you and yours.

All the best,

Haute World said...

So sorry to hear about your Christmas woes :/ I hope everything turns out ok and you still get to spend a lovely festive holiday with Mr. Scotland. You definitely did a great job of raising your son. You can be proud. My goal when I do have my own kids is to show them as much of the world as possible so they will never even think to stereotype people and appreciate people from all over the world as equals.

Jg. for FatScribe said...

DT -- what i love about your blog, Deb, is that what comes out from your wonderful post is not the bad, but the hope. your Christmas pics from yesteryear (love the red santa hat, btw!) are almost as wonderful as your beautiful fam. i also realized something, your photos from Christmases of yore reveal the wardrobe for "A Single Man" -- you all look so uber hip.

all the best to your mom this year, and a multitude of blessings on you all.

warmest regards,


Jacqueline @ HOME said...

My dear friend Deb,
I'm so sorry that you've had more bad news to deal with. There's nothing much to say that will make a difference but, we are all here for you and if you just want a chat, email me. Try to be positive and let's hope that the vet will have good news.
What a lovely son you have in Matt. A credit to you Deb. You must be so proud of him and, of course, your other children.There will be times for all of us, when our children won't be able to be with us at Christmas but, you will be thinking of them as they will be thinking of you. Just open a bottle, Deb and raise a glass to them all, and I know that you will be thankful that they are with you, where ever they are.
Wishing you lots of love and I am thinking of you. XXXX

La Petite Gallery said...

I have to say this, Your son is Magnificent.
I am going to cross out those blanks from now on.
As for dog problems, I completly understand.
My 14 yr old Dal. had a toenail removed, It's been Hell. Don't get worried about Cancer.
I had it and look at me now. (fat)
At the Vet's office I swear, they make up crap. Yesterday 3 people were in for bandage change $38.00 twice a week.
It's like business is slow so think of something.

Christy said...

Deb, you should be so incredibly proud of yourself - not only for raising a wonderful son, but for being able to write so beautifully and honestly during such an incredibly trying time. Pets are family here in my home, and I imagine yours are too. I'm praying hard that it's not the C word. And I'm hoping and praying that you and your husband manage to find the holidays somewhat magical despite not having your kids around. As a new mother, I can only imagine how difficult that must be to come to terms with. Have you thought about doing something totally wild and different for the holiday? A movie marathon and home pedicure? Dinner at a hotel, followed by *ahem* quality time with husband in said hotel (room)? I'm just thinking that if I were in your shoes, I'd try to make Christmas as different as possible, but also fun. And I'm sooo sorry to hear about your mum. I know just how hard that is, as last year was my MIL's last. So hard. I'm sending you big hugs and positive thoughts, and really hope you have a nice weekend. I know I've said it before, but have a glass of wine, listen to some good music, and hopefully have a relaxing time!

christina @ greige said...

So sorry to hear that you are down! Big kisses to your furry baby... Thanks for helping us all realize how much our family means and how lucky we are to have them!

Maybe a trip is in order... beach, sand, waves that might cheer you... or Ireland...


Jane said...

hi Deb
That is terribly sad and doesn't it always seem to come in threes. Sick pets are horrible because you feel so helpless. It is easy to get caught up in all the Christmas tra la la but of course everyone has their sadnesses and memories to deal with . You should be proud of your son he is well raised and that must be due to you both!! xoxo

Mademoiselle ♥♥ said...

Hello, darling.
I understand how helpless the feeling can feel when animals and sickness is involved (my chihuahua strawberry cupcake got hit by a car and was left brain damaged for some time) but which ever the outcome rest well knowing it is the right one!
Stay strong and I am sure christmas will have its lovely joys!

Renée Finberg said...

you are so right on !!!
yes. you did ANOTHER thing right!!!
i am sure your kids are very cool.

be proud mommio!! :)


My Dog-Eared Pages said...

Deb, you've given a lot to the universe with such wonderful parenting and now let's hope the universe gives back to your pup and mom... with best wishes for all. oxo Barbara

Brillante Interiors said...

I wish you all the best, lots of courage, patience, hope. Life is about changes and it does change us. Great things and sad ones.Let us know.

Beth Connolly said...

So sorry you have had such a tough year. Hope everything gets better soon and that you are able to enjoy the holidays. All the best.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dearest Deb
How could your childen be anything other than beautiful souls such as yourself!

I'm thinking of you often these days and am sorry to hear you have had more worries. Jacqueline is right there is nothing that can be said that makes it easier though I am sure many many people are sending your warm thoughts right now.

I will send you a special email at Christmas and I'm sure others will too.. You will feel like your house is filled with children and laughter!! Take care dear Deb xxx Julie

Brabourne Farm said...

Hi Deb

It's just awful when an animal you love is sick - they're such poor helpless creatures! Fingers crossed for good news. Leigh

Oliveaux said...

Dear Deb, so sorry to hear you have more bad news. What a lovely son! I am sure they will be thinking of you this Christmas as you are them. Sending you a big "blog" hug and take care. Axx

Anonymous said...

Miss Deb.
my heart is heavy for you. your dear mother. your sweet, sweet furry pup. so sorry. i've no doubt they are basking aglow in YOUR love and affection, not feeling any pain or fear. that fine, young man proves my theory. how else did such a kind and high-principled soul emerge? with a strong mother supporting, encouraging, and protecting (when needed) him.
sending my love,

LenoreNeverM♡re said...

I'm so sorry to hear the news...
Continue to hope for the best ok~
The story about your son almost brought me to tears, you have brought up great fine children darling!

much love to you* as always~

Keith said...

I'm so sorry that things aren't going all that well this holiday season. Take care. I wish you the best.


Oh, Deb! I am so sorry to hear all this. I'm sending you a big virtual hug and all the best wishes for your pup. xoxo, Ally

Annie May said...

Wishing you all the best! You will be in my thoughts this holiday! I love the words from your son. I was just speaking to my mom about something very similar. She told me a story about a guy she works with who is from Panama, who I will hopefully be meeting tomorrow! He said it wasn't until he came to the United States that he realized he was of any color. He said it was here he found out he was "black". Sad. xx, Annie

Renée Finberg said...

i love the new header.


Barbara said...

I'm so sorry you have so much on your plate this year, Deb! It's tough. My dad died right before Christmas one year. It was hard to think about anything else.
But you're right to think about all the positive things...your son's comment is a testament to the way you raised your children.
Thinking about you.....

Laura said...

That is a great story about your son, and now that I think about it, he's absolutely correct! I don't know why that hadn't occurred to me before. You have indeed done an excellent job with him. I'm sorry to hear your sad news, but I will say that, coming from a family that has had some almost laughably bad Christmases in the past (major medical traumas, family drama, you name it) I do sort of appreciate the good ones more. They give you a moment to look back on the bad ones and enjoy how good you've got it in comparison. So here's to next Christmas, to be better than this one!

*Chic Provence* said...

Hi Deb, Christmas is a tough time at the best of times. I am so very sorry yours has sadness this year. But as you say, you did a fabulous job raising that son of yours and that's no small thing. Keep that close to your heart, and give blessings to your Mom's being here for Christmas this year...things will look up again.

Chin to the Wind!

Wishing you peace at Christmas and the New Year


Haven and Home said...

I hope your pup is okay. I am sorry this is a hard Christmas, I will be thinking about you!

Southern Aspirations said...

my dear Deb- sorry for the challenges you are facing and will be thinking of you and your furkid especially today.

I too like the new header, on a positive note!
Hugs, Emmie

debra@dustjacket said...

Hi honey, Big blessings to your Mom.

So so hoping furry one is okay, try and be strong, it's so tough I know.

I just loved the super stylish photo's of your fam ... very cool.

Your kids are gorgeous and sound gorgeous on the inside too, you must be so proud.

Thoughts are with you this Christmas Deb,
xoxox DJ

La Dolfina said...

I'm so sorry for all you are dealing with right now. You are obviously a strong and courageous woman and your role as mother, daughter, wife, realtor, blogger...is a blessing for those whose lives you touch. You have been an inspiration to me in the short amount of time that I've come to know you through this blog. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers as you journey through this challenging time. God Bless you, Deborah
I can only imagine what a treasure you are to your Mom! xo Terri

Unknown said...

WOW..I have been thinking about doing a post about the same thing all morning... How all of my best Chrismtas memories have NOTHING to do with the gifts but all of the time I spent with my parents... the games the baking etc. My kids are still little...but I think them have fond memories & just being good people is the BEST gift I can ask for. Sending prayers to you & your family. -

Unknown said...

Should have been...."the kids having fond memories.".. geeez... you would never guess English is my first language would you?

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling Deb, I am so sorry you are experiencing so many difficulties. Darling, I have been praying for your mum as I will continue to do so. My thoughts and prayers are with you, be strong, I am always here for you.

Love & Hugs

Bunny, The Paris House said...

Hi Deb, I'm so sorry that you have been going through a difficult time, I hope your mom and you have the most beautiful Christmas together this year. It just breaks my heart, why oh why can't life always be happy?? Your son is amazing, thanks to having an amazing mom like you! I agree with what he said and I too have often thought that when filling out forms. As for your sweet dog, I read your comment on Barbara's post at a Moveable Feast, so I believe everything is OK, thank God.
I wonder what it will be like one day when my three sons are gone and many of our pets have passed. I hope all young parents out there slow down and just enjoy every minute, it goes so fast.
I'll be thinking of you and praying for your mom.

Emily said...

I'm so sorry this is a rough Christmas! My thoughts are with you and your family.

Anthony said...

Deb, I sure do hope that fateful phone call from your vet turned out to be a GOOD one. But if not, I feel there's almost always a reason.

However, this IS just about the CRAPPIEST time of year to deal with something like this! All of the related stress, even if your pup turns out cancer-free, totally takes a toll and can completely drain you... I lost a cat to kidney disease several years ago, so I know from experience how difficult it can be to go through all of that. :(

Please know that I will be thinking of you and your "furry child" with lots & lots of POSITIVE ENERGY! :)

Anthony said...

P.S. - Btw, I totally DIG the vintage family Christmas photos!!

Kitty said...

it's been a real shit sandwich around here the last few days; every morning i take another bite. learning out what kind of beautiful human you raised has lifted my spirits this afternoon. nicely done. happy holidays to you; peace and love - kitty

red ticking said...

deb... i am so sad to read this tonight. my heart goes out to you and i will be praying that you are blessed this christmas with the love and care of your precious family. big kiss to your mommy... and father...
i dont know what i will do one day when mine go... until then i will treasure every moment i have with them.

a friend of mine lost her mother this year and she said" i went thru my emails and found one from my mom. it said, honey your dad and i are out on the deck drinking coffee and thinking of you" ...we usually look at those and think cute.. or whatever... and now that she is gone she LOVES IT and it made her cry... she told me, "if only i could get one of those again"... i think of that everytime my mom, dad, sister brother call or write me and email. i am so happy you will be with your father and comfort one another...
and i hope your furry friend gets well soon.... xoxo pam

My Passport to Style said...

Hi there, I'm new here, so glad I found you through French Blue,you have one Stylish blog, speaking as one who works in this area.Adore the sledge shot, I will be back for more!Merry Christmas to you! Sharon xx

Brabourne Farm said...

Hi Deb - just stopped by to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. Hope you have a safe and happy holiday. Leigh

Chicago Chic said...

I am so sorry to hear of your difficult time this year, I can't even imagine. Why does it sometimes seem that so many negative things happen all at once? My childhood dog got cancer when I went to college and it broke my heart.... and yet what a blessing to have your son visit and what a blessing he is.

This Christmas I am thankful for your beautiful blog...always providing such beauty and inspiration!

Outside The Lines said...

Dear Deb, I'm hoping the news you get will be good. It's seems that you are dealing with so many challenges right now. Try to smile and stay positive. You are in my thoughts and prayers my friend. I love the way your son thinks. It's SO great! I too am so proud that the chain of racism is being broken with my children.

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

I hope your fur baby is ok D. And I hope that you can smile through your sadness and have a wonderful holiday!

Fifi Flowers said...

I hope good news comes your way!

Porchlight Interiors said...

Dearest Deb, My heart just goes out to you with deapest sincerity. You can never be prepared for the loss of a loved one, including our furry friends. My wish for you this Christmas is that you will find strength in the memories and anticipation of many good things to come. God bless,
Hayley x

Kitty said...

Deb, you're so awesome!!! Thanks a million for all the wonderful things you write and say... and for turning me on to Jenni's blog. It slays me! Peace and Love this Christmas to you and yours! xoxo kitty.

SpryOnTheWall said...

Oh Deb, since I had no internet for a week I totally missed this post (must be in my 600+ things on my Reader). I'm so sorry about your Mom and your dog and just tough times. I hate that for you. You are always the first one with a kind word or comment and it makes my day! You are right, Christmas is about famiy and friends and great memories, not all that other "stuff". You all have a Blessed time together and I'm thinking about you. Much love and many hugs! You are an amazing person!

BTW - I lost got laid off twice in one year,from two different jobs in different cities back in 2002. I always said I should have written a country song about it :o)

Marsi @ The Cottage Cheese said...

Oh Deb, I do hope you get to spend some time with your Mom for Christmas. I'm sure she would love to hear how much these childhood Christmas memories mean to you. She is lucky to have such a wonderful and loving daughter. Your son sounds like a great guy (of course he is, he had a great mom). And oh dear, your poor pup. I do hope that your baby is ok. My dogs are like my kids, and I know how unbearable it is to think that they can't stay with us forever. Keeping my finger, toes, everything else crossed for good news. Big hugs to you, girlie!

Francine Gardner said...

Dear Deb:
This is a belated note as i just read this post. I really feel for you. Having 2 sons myself I look forward all year to our christmas time together as a family. As you, i sent my elder son to China to work as a teacher's aid with unprivileged children, he went on to the University in Changhai for a few months afterwards. I have tried to show the real world to my children, the world of men, women, children, animals, nature...my Christmas gifts have not been about toys, gadgets or money but of traveling to far away lands among foreign cultures so they would open their heart and their understanding of human needs and dignity. I feel for you holding your mother's hand for her last Christmas without the physical presence of your children and the news about your pet. Sometimes, we are facing more than we think we can handle and all I can do as a virtual friend is offer a few words of support and comfort in knowing that the only control you have in life and fate is the power of love and letting know the ones you love how much they mean to you and hold their hand...