Memories of mom’s Christmas cactus

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 15, 2016

One Christmas the family decided to give mom a Christmas Cactus. It would join the array of plants in and around the house that testified of her green thumb. How mom loved her plants and she treated them with the same love she had for her children. She would spend hours tending them making sure they had everything they needed to provide the most beautiful blooms each season. Mom had a story to tell for each of her plants. I think she enjoyed the Christmas Cactus best because it only bloomed during Christmas.

When mom’s health began to fail she lost interest in her many plants.

Most of the plants died, but that Christmas Cactus found a place on the carport and remained green, but no blooms. Mom finally decided to enter a nursing home and it became my responsibility to take care of the house and her many plants. I decided to bring the cactus to my home in Mississippi. It grew so large that I was able to make two plants, but it would never bloom no matter what I did.

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Last summer mom passed on to her heavenly reward and that made me really sad. I knew I had done the best a daughter could do, but I missed taking care of her. I thought of her as I tended the cactus.

With the approaching holiday I didn’t feel the Christmas spirit without mom, but I decided to put the cactus on a table to server as a Christmas tree. I planned to decorate it later. One morning I noticed small blooms on the cactus. Within a couple of weeks the whole cactus was in full bloom. It was as if mom was smiling, wishing me a very Merry Christmas.


A chocolate Christmas


For some strange reason the words “Merry Christmas takes on a different meaning for me this year. I know many argue whether someone will be offended or not, but my reason is different. I’ve lived through the most difficult year of my life so I have few merry thoughts about anything. The first sounds of holiday tunes bring tears to my eyes as I think of spending the holidays without mom who passed away earlier this year.

With the chill in the air comes the pain of the rheumatoid arthritis that I live with everyday. I have a basket of candy for the kids in the neighborhood, knowing very well one of them burglarized my home twice this year.

My truck was in a wreck just a month ago and the list of doom and gloom continues. My lips can easily say “bah humbug” instead of Merry Christmas.

But in my heart I know that the joys of the season aren’t predicated on my experiences this year. Merry Christmas is just a phrase that only comes once a year.

The joy that continues all year comes from the baby that was born in a manger who now lives in our hearts. The pains of the year will fade away as I look forward to the New Year. I just believe that all I’ve gone through this year God will work together for my good. My good days out weigh my bad days so that’s the reason for the joy in my heart.

I thank God for so many of you that prayed me through the tough times and for your support. I’m writing again and sharing stories with the children. I’m stronger and growing deeper as I journey onward towards God’s high calling.

That’s my prayer for you as you continue your journey. I believe God is doing a new thing in 2016 that may just surprise even me.

Blessings and joys to you and your family

By Gwen Williams