Smiles and Tears


At the grocery last week, I glanced up from the piles of food moving slowly toward the bagging area.   The old man was standing by the customer service desk, hunched over with baggy faded overalls.  He shuffled slowly up to the desk, and my heart beat a little faster, even knowing it could not be him.   When he turned slightly to hear what the clerk was saying, my heart sank.  Of course it wasn’t him.  This was the second Christmas without him.

A week later, out with friends at a small bistro, a nicely dressed woman helped her mother move through the room.  Her mother was frail but smiling and working hard to walk past our table toward the door.  My friend moved some chairs out of the way to make a path and asked if she wanted to sit down with us for a moment.  She sat precariously on the edge of the wooden chair.  It was all I could do to hold it together.  I quickly took a drink of water to drown that thick feeling in my throat that often accompanies tears. This was the tenth year without her.

Struggles with parents are some of life’s most difficult moments.  I could have said that many times throughout my life, but I had no clue just how difficult those moments would be at the end.  Both of my parents were lost first to dementia, then to death.  I had no idea how difficult it could be. even after they were gone.

Holidays bring joy and family together, but they also bring feelings of loss.  I find myself in tears frequently during the Christmas season.  Listening to favorite Christmas songs, hunting for the holiday recipe written in mom’s handwriting, and old photos of holidays past are with me, especially at this time of year.

Sending blessings to everyone during this season.  As you gather with friends and family, your joys and sadness will always be a part of your life.  Those cherished memories will always bring smiles and tears.

Glenn, Ron, Marjorie, Ruth Circa 1951

My first Christmas 1950.



About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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6 Responses to Smiles and Tears

  1. yes… a little sadness at Christmas…when our memories flow through our mind…Isn’t it wonderful that we have them!


  2. LB says:

    Ruth, what a moving post.
    Thank you for sharing. I am blessed with healthy, 83 yr old parents, and am thankful every day, as I know it will not go on forever.
    Peace to you, and health and happiness in the coming year.


  3. My dad’s been gone 7 years and my mom, 3. Yet when I’m out Christmas shopping, I still find myself picking something up and thinking, “Mom would love this,” or “This would be perfect for Dad.” Then I remember, and the tears threaten to flow. I do believe they are with us on Christmas Day, though, sending their endless love our way. All the best to you and yours, Ruth, during this Christmas season.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chris Belchak says:

    Yep…made me cry….& my dad has been gone for 32 yrs & my mom for 20. Will always miss them…


  5. puppy1952 says:

    Just exactly how I feel


  6. Sue Sanders says:

    So true, Ruth. I could cry just reading your story. So true…..very good writing.


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