Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Gifts

There’s no doubt that my family is fully engaged in the commercialization of Christmas, like it or not. But it’s good to see signs that my daughters also embrace the true spirit of giving gifts and showing compassion for friends and family.

We finally made it back to the National Cemetery in Santa Fe to see the new headstone for Grandpa Carlos and Grandma Rise. Despite the cold, wintery weather, it was a nice visit, especially for Isabella. She had been anxiously waiting to leave some special gifts for her great-grandparents.

We looked forward to seeing the headstone during a trip to Santa Fe in September. Bella had planned on leaving a rosary on the headstone, but forgot it at home that day. Following breakfast, we made our way to the Cathedral to get another rosary, but we didn’t want to interrupt mass. So we made a last-ditch effort to find something at the Five-and-Dime on the plaza. Sure enough, Bella found two stones, one with a cross and another with a heart, as well as a rosary. But we chose the wrong day because the annual Fiestas parade blocked traffic and the entrance to the cemetery for hours. Bella was heartbroken and cried on our way back to Albuquerque.
Isabella places mementos on the headstone of her great-grandparents

Carin and Isabella

This past weekend, we went back to Santa Fe to shop for Christmas gifts and grab breakfast at the Pantry. This time, we made it to the National Cemetery, and got a chance to see the headstone. Unfortunately, it was so cold, we couldn’t spend much time there. But Bella was able to get leave the stones and the rosary. After we got back in the car, she sent photos to my Dad, her Papi, and said she was sad and that she missed Grandma Rise. My Dad was touched, and wrote back that he’s sure his parents, Bella’s great-grandparents, were thankful that she thought about them at Christmas.

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