A Christmas Miracle and I Can’t Stop Smiling!

This will be a very special Holiday for us. We have one child, now off in the Navy, and for the past few years, Xmas has been rather bleak.  We haven’t even put up a tree.

This year promises a whole different holiday.  During the summer,  my husband’s son, Christopher, 29, came to visit for the first time.  Christopher works in Washington, DC, in the US Patent Office, as a Intellectual Properties Investigator. Three years ago he became a Mormon.

We haven’t seen this child in decades. Divorce can take its nasty toll on so many things, and  children are usually on the front lines.  We had just given up ever knowing this child.  But in through our front door Christopher walked and it was love at first sight.  He is a tall, handsome young man, and funny to boot.  He kept his arm around me and his father and it seemed that talking to Christopher was talking to my husband. They were so much alike.  The mystery of DNA will always startle me.

The last time I saw Christopher he was not even two years old….and still in his crib.  So seeing this beautiful young man who was so much an issue of anger and strife between his parents was a shock.  For some unknown reason, this meeting had nothing of awkwardness or strangeness.  It was just a father, son and step-mother having dinner and getting to know the other.  It was just an unexpected joy for me.

Our son in the Navy, also named Christopher (just 24), met the other Christopher this summer, and they have spent as much time together as possible.  He is an only child, and said to me recently: “Finally I get the sibling I wanted, no thanks to you, Mom.”  LOL!

They spent Thanksgiving up at Christopher’s and that was wonderful,  the mother down here, worried that her child would not have a holiday dinner, except the hard tack or whatever they eat in the Navy these days.

Friday night we were at a holiday party in the neighborhood.  It was held at a new venue for our neighborhood, an internet cafe, apparently owned by the Japanese. It is run by a woman who lived for many years in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese.  They are putting these cafes all over the country I have been told.  This was a lovely new venue for our neighborhood, and we were having a great time.  My husband Fred got a phone call from his son, and BOTH our Christophers are coming home for Xmas on a long road trip together from up there.

I haven’t been able to stop smiling since Friday.  I tore the house apart upstairs yesterday, can barely move this morning, giving up my large studio and office to make a ‘dorm’ for the ‘boys’.  I took another smaller bedroom and sqeezed my stuff in there.   I am so happy to have this task to do, and this ’empty nest’ stuff goes just so far.  It’s damn lonely actually, and having the sound and laughter of two young men, both related, in the house at Christmas will be the best gift of all. I have heard them on the phone, talking to each other, laughing and giggling, both computer nerds, and having that in our lives, even for a short visit at Christmas will mean so much to both of us.  Plus the wood pile will grow with two additional axes this winter.

Life is never predictable. We never thought this Holiday visit would be possible.  But life is also an ever-changing blessing.

Lady Nyo



  I saw the Cooper’s hawk this morning. She landed on the chimney pot, probably looking for my miniature hen, Grayson.  Four years ago she was a starved fledging who mantled over while I fed her cold chicken.  She’s back this holiday, my spirits lifting. A good Christmas present.

   In the middle of the commercialization of the season, Nature closes the gap.  I have noticed squirrels with pecans in mouths leaping the trees, hawks hunting low over now-bare woods, unknown song birds sitting on fences, heard the migration of Sandhill cranes as they honk in formation. You hear their cacophony well before they appear. 

   There is brightness to the holly, washed by our early winter rains and the orange of the nandina berries has turned crimson. Smell of wood smoke in the air and the crispness of morning means some of nature is going to sleep. We humans should reclaim our past and join the slumber party of our brother bears.

   Jingle Bells will fade and our tension with it. Looking towards deep winter when the Earth is again silent will restore our balance and calm nerves with a blanket of peace.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009, 2011

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33 Responses to “A Christmas Miracle and I Can’t Stop Smiling!”

  1. Pat Hatt Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful gift. Hope a great time is had by all! Although chopping wood, ewwww, glad I no longer have to do that..haha


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Merry Christmas, Pat~
    I use the generic term “Merry Christmas” because that is what I grew up with, and good or bad, Xmas is a time for memories.

    I do like the Winter Solstice mind-thought very much, though.

    It IS a gift, lol! Receiving such a gift at these ages is a blessing indeed. I guess you just have to live long enough.

    Thank you, Pat, for your reading and your comments.



  3. Yousei Hime Says:

    Good, good, good for you and yours. May your whole season be blessed. 😀


  4. ladynyo Says:

    And Yours, Yousei!

    Thank you.

    Lady Nyo


  5. Life: Between the lines Says:

    Enjoy your blessings!!! I am happy to read your giddiness!!!!
    TWO Christophers? lol tell younger Christopher that it is thanks to you after all he has a sibling 🙂
    happy gooseberry day!



  6. zongrik Says:

    happy holidays to you and your loved ones.



  7. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Zongrik…and to you, too!

    Lady Nyo


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, and yep…giddy I am.

    Two Christophers is a house full….LOL!

    Thank you for reading, …..

    Lady Nyo


  9. Morning Says:

    what cheerful thought, well done.



  10. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Morning.,….

    Thank you for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


  11. Chevrefeuille Says:

    Enjoy the holidays !!! Thanks for sharing this story, it toches me deep.



  12. ronks Says:

    How wonderful for you! All of you!
    P.S. They are past hardtack in the Navy these days; you have been reading too much Patrick O’Brian. 😉


  13. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Ronks….

    Guilty. Regarding Patrick O’Brian. LOL!

    Merry Xmas to you!…or whatever holiday you persue.

    Lady Nyo


  14. Steve Elsaesser Says:

    Lady NYO!
    Oh dear woman, I never apologize for “Merry Christmas”…nor do I harbor even a frown on those who choose other words, other holidays, other beliefs.

    Somewhere in all this is ‘destiny’…like, “Who chose my parent?” Not me! “How did I come into this particular culture?” Certainly not me!

    So appropriate, in your life and mine this season of 2011. Other peeps also experiencing their own wondrous happenings–or not! Whatever! Your words, so descriptive:

    “Life is never predictable. We never thought this Holiday visit would be possible. But life is also an ever-changing blessing”

    PEACE to you–and yours, this Christmas (etc!)


  15. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Steve,
    May the world expand with goodness and compassion.There is such evil afoot, but we can just ‘trash’ these messages when they come to our eyes.

    I think we just sit out the drama that goes around us, and if we are lucky, or worthy….things calm down and are made right.

    Thank you, dear friend….this holiday holds within it the possibilities of goodness renewed.

    Bless you, Steve, and Merry Christmas…

    Peace and Love,

    Lady Nyo


  16. katiewritesagain Says:

    Merry Christmas! You sound so happy, and full of joyful expectation. That’s what this season is all about. I hope your family draws even closer and that your after-Christmas blog tells of a happy few days full of laughter and warm memories.


  17. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Katie!!!

    You know!! Especially after I put the cabash on the abuse of a certain family member by going ‘no contact’ it really set a lot of things in motion, but that’s ok. Either we live with constant abuse, or we cut and run. Our lives are too precious for this behavior. It’s draining for no damn purpose.

    Somebody wrote to me this very morning that faced with vulnerability, such as a child exhibits to their parents…if the parent is a narcissist, their aggression heightens. So says recent and new research. Amazing.

    I just never expected for this to be possible: we have never had ‘family’ with us at Xmas because of the various issues really relating to narcissism, particular ‘control’ issues, etc…so this lovely possibility of rebuilding a family without these issues and with ‘normal’ people….is so wonderful.

    Yes, I am Full of Joyful Expectation!! I’m exhausted with all the moving furniture around, shopping for linens, bed, etc….but I feel it’s a wonderful kind of exhaustion…it’s building our family, breaking down barriers, creating a new history for us. And the ‘dorm’ looks great!!! I slept in the new bed like a baby last night…just a test drive, and it works well! LOL!

    Some commentator said he enjoyed my giddiness….Yep….I’m guilty of being giddy! I haven’t felt this feeling or expectation in a long time.

    dear heart: Merry Christmas to you, Katie.



  18. ladynyo Says:

    You are very welcome, Chevrefeuille.

    Happy Holidays to you.


    Lady Nyo


  19. waysidewordgarden Says:

    Jane, what a beautiful gift this Christmas… just the best, a true miracle and coming home story. May your holidays be warm and bright and full of laughter.


  20. ladynyo Says:

    Oh, Thank you!!

    I am STILL smiling…tired, exhausted and sore from moving things around. But! This is a miracle…there is so much back story to this visit, and if people knew the whole story, they would see what a true miracle this visit really is.

    Today I went out and did just a little Xmas shopping….silly stuff like slippers, gloves, hats, books, and ordered some stuff from LLBean. LOL! This time I had to do everything twice.

    I have tried to make the best of Xmas for our son when he was growing up but it was a rather sad affair: no family, no relatives, only the stray neighbor and friend to come in during the holidays. This holiday perhaps I am hanging too much on, but I am so giddy with relief and expectation I can’t be held responsible!!!

    May YOUR holidays be warm and bright and full of laughter. Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment.



  21. claudia Says:

    ..when the Earth is again silent will restore our balance and calm nerves with a blanket of peace…somehow this sums up christmas for me.. a beautiful poem jane but think this time your intro moved me even more than the poem…so happy for you… wishing you the most lovely time


  22. hedgewitch Says:

    What a wonderful gift, Jane. No one could deserve it more, for you are always bringing the positive to others. So happy you will have all your boys around this Christmas.


  23. Heaven Says:

    I really happy and excited for the family reunion. Hope you and everyone will be blessed on this special day and all the days next year. Thank you for sharing your heart ~


  24. brian miller Says:

    our story made me smile…what a beautiful gift this time of year…someone already called it a miracle so i will only echo that…but it has me smiling ear to ear…i am glad too that nature closes the gap on what we have made of this season…


  25. ladynyo Says:

    You are the very first person to notice that “Reason” piece. LOL!

    I am so glad you are sharing in the unexpected joy of having this young man in our home on Xmas….quite a treat.

    I haven’t stopped smiling!



  26. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Heaven!
    Well, I think it is a pretty universal story, perhaps Bibical in scope??? LOL! I’ll take a small miracle, because this is what it seems from this seat.

    Thank you, Heaven, for reading and your lovely comment.

    Merry Christmas, and all the other surrounding holidays!



  27. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Hedge. No, I don’t deserve it, because generally I am a very negative person…and I tend to whine a lot….offputting for everyone around. LOL!

    They move to the other side of the bench….

    Thank you, Hedge, and the best of all holidays to you!



  28. ladynyo Says:

    Dear Claudia,

    It sums up Christmas and this time of the year for me, too….not being a religious person. I tend to hide in the leaves of Nature. I am eternally grateful for the turning seasons, even as it brings me closer to the grave.

    It is a boon to the heart when ones experience moves other hearts around you. That is ‘spreading the Joy’ I guess, and I am pleased to do so.

    It’s a rare event here. LOL!

    Wishing you, Claudia, the time when Human Nature is appearing its best, and Nature is telling us to rest.



  29. Charles Elliott/Beautyseer Says:

    My 29-year-old son is just back from a long band tour of the US and Canada and promises this will be a good Christmas at a time when his father and stepmother were in doubt. He’s bringing a bandmate to Christmas dinner, so we have some hint of what you are anticipating. All the best! Enjoy! Happiness, we have seen strongly underlined this year, is not about money. Family and friends play a much bigger role. We are blessed by the love of both.


  30. ladynyo Says:

    Charles! I join you in your happiness with this news about your son! That is wonderful. And yes, this year is not about money, or lack of it, but about family and friends….we have little family because of the dysfunction of a parental member, but we are sidestepping this for our own happiness and sanity.

    May you and your wife and your son and his friend have the BEST Xmas of all years!



  31. CZBZ Says:

    Such exciting news, Jane!

    My son will be flying in for the holidays and I still have too many things to do before he arrives! Food to buy, gifts to wrap, beds to inflate, ha!

    I’m so happy for you! Have a wonderful holiday!



  32. ladynyo Says:

    Dear CZ.,,,,

    That is Wonderful news!!!. Give your precious son a hug for me.

    Don’t wear yourself out!!!

    Merry Xmas, dear CZ.




  33. The Gooseberry Garden Says:


    Hope that you have had a great Merry Christmas.

    Thanks for the delightful support along the way,

    Happy New Year.

    Share a piece of your poetry today at our week 19 poetry picnic,

    Have fun!

    Sending you love and blessings.



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