Yesterday my family and I celebrated the holidays as did many. It was just my dad, mom, brother, niece and nephew and myself. The day went off without any conflict and all had good food and good times. We celebrated my niece and nephews birthdays as well. All seemed well. I could not help but notice the date that Thanksgiving fell on. November 27Th was the day my grandmother, Lula, died in 1983. Yes, it was the silver anniversary of the first death to bring me emotionally to my knees. I remember that time so well. I suppose everyone remembers in great detail that first death that takes their breath away and brings them to a realization that some day they too would be cold and lifeless and lying in a casket for family and friends to pay their respects to. Respect? That seemed like such an odd word to me at the time. I was sixteen years old. No one in my life that I cared anything about had died until that time. There were so many things she wouldn't be a part of or see. My high school graduation, the family I may have and many other life altering times. To this day I still recall how alone I felt on that journey through the days leading up to and after her death. My grandmother had been in the hospital for a couple of months when she died. The doctors basically said she had lost the will to live. She told everyone that her beloved husband who had died when my dad was six years old had told her it was time to come home. She loved him completely and never remarried. The day before Thanksgiving we got a call from my uncle letting us know that my grandmother had taken a turn for the worse. He told my dad not to come until after Thanksgiving though. The day after the holiday we set out for Kentucky. I believe it was Lexington where she was if I recall correctly. I remember walking into the hospital and going up the elevator. I remember walking into the waiting room and before anything else was said my uncle said my grandmother was gone. Her brain function had ceased; however, her blood pressure was still up and heart still beating with the help of machines. They would have to wait for her blood pressure to drop to declare her dead. In that time of sitting and waiting, which took a few days, my aunt talked me into going into the room and seeing her. Something I regret I agreed to do to this day. I can't ever get that image out of my mind. She had gone from a full figured woman to skin and bones and all the machines reminded me of some horror movie. I didn't stay long. I couldn't. I also remember very well going to the funeral home and people standing around laughing and talking. I remember feeling so angry that they could do this. I understand now as an adult that they were remembering her and honoring her in the only way they knew how. I remember the funeral and sitting by myself for the most part. My mother comforting my dad. No one knowing how it felt for me to have to be strong, when all I wanted was to break down and cry and have someone reach out comfort to me. I remember it all so vividly as if it were yesterday. It was a catalyst for a downhill emotional roller coaster for me that would last almost a decade before I would pull myself out of it. So today I did my merchandising job at Target. It was very surprising to me how many people were crabby and in such bad moods as they were shopping for gifts for the holiday season. I couldn't help but think what is the point if you're not enjoying it? I mean holiday shopping should be enjoyable and something you want to do, not something that is nothing more than a mere chore. Yet you saw few with smiles on their faces. Most grabbed their purchases and mumbled or complained out loud. Their waits were not long though, for the black Friday sales the Target had all hands on deck and got people out with little wait at all. Then driving to my second job of the night I hear about the Walmart horrors. I mean what the hell is so important that you're willing to trample someone to death for? It just seems to me most people have lost the meaning of the season. I somehow doubt the good Lord is pleased with them. Then there was the poor woman who was trampled and lost her unborn baby. What is this world coming to when you have to worry about being trampled for a sales price item? I some how doubt that these families of tragedy will have a very Merry Christmas, and somehow believe they will have a very UN-merry Christmas. May they find peace. Happy Holidays.