Hope Wissel

The Night Before Christmas

It is Christmas Eve day….. the hustle and bustle is reaching immeasurable heights as last minute shoppers make the final dash to the malls for the perfect gift.  Some are nursing hangovers from the holiday office parties.  Others are home preparing for family and friends to arrive – dinner cooking (is it fish? or turkey? or ham?).  Kids are eagerly counting down until Santa will arrive bringing gifts for one and all.  While still others are grabbing a quick dinner as they head to church to celebrate the real reason for the season…

Tonight will be dinner with my step-mom and half sister.  A chance to share special memories of holidays with dad. Christmas Day will be spent with mom and Sal, dinner out embracing the special moments.  Just another indication the times are changing.

As I sit looking at our Christmas tree, memories of Christmas Eve’s past flash before me.

The years of trying to get Belinda to go to bed so Edythe, Elsie and I could put presents under the tree. It was really hard carrying things past HER room to get the living room. It always made for a lot of laughs. Waiting patiently for mom to get off work so we could open presents. The early morning calls to wake everyone up. The funny thing was – Belinda wasn’t a morning person so we always had to WAKE her up. Really, on Christmas morning???? Opening presents was a process which took forever because Belinda wanted to play with each thing before moving on to the next gift. We learned games were opened last or at least towards the end or else nothing else would get opened. Great memories of days gone by…

Cherish the moments with family.  Let the struggles of the year go for you never know what tomorrow will bring or if we will even be here tomorrow. There are tears of joy, tears of sorrow for those who are no longer with us and tears of anticipation for what God has in store for our family over the next year.

Merry Christmas to my friends, family, Thirty One customers and hostess and all of my blog fans. You have blessed this year for me in so many ways…

Hope Wissel

Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has many meanings for me, for I am blessed to be a daughter, a step-daughter and a MOM!

To my mom, Joan, we have had our rough spots over the years but I think every mom and daughter do.  You have stuck by me through thick and thin, good times and bad with LOTS of great memories along the way.   As a child, you were there to guide and support me.  You were at all of my activities and our door was always open to my friends – no matter how late the hour.  Through my college years, you came to visit and was there to support me.  As I grew up, we were still close but my addiction years put a strain on our relationship.  I am sorry for the hurt I caused for it wasn’t a personal thing it was more about the addiction.  I am grateful that now we have a friendship in addition to a mother/daughter relationship.

To my step-mom, Patti.  I am grateful that we have become closer.  Honestly for many years, I wasn’t sure how I fit in but through it all, you were there with open arms.  We don’t see each other or talk often but I know that you are always there if I need you.

To my daughter, Belinda who makes MY Mother’s Day so special.  They say you never know what it means to be a mom until you have a child – I agree 100%.  I now understand why my mom put up with everything (the good, the bad & the ugly) all of those years.  My daughter is my heart.  It was “you and me, kid” for most of your life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Being a single mom had its struggles but with the love and support of family and friends we made it.  I couldn’t be prouder of the woman that you have become.  As a child, you were a challenge – having your own opinion and questioning everything but you helped me to grow as a person too.  

To those who have lost their moms, cherish the memories.  To those who have a strained relationship with them, reach out, re-connect – bless and move on – for you don’t want to live with regrets when they are gone.  Celebrate Mother’s Day with your mom and with those who have been like a mom.  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.