Believe! - A Christmas in August story !

It was 1996 - returning to my hometown fixed a broken heart.   After twenty years ,  most did not even know me.  I'd been beautifully raised there, married, off with corporate life and love - parenting, then early and suddenly widowed and empty-nested.  Our children and I worked hard on our grief and won the Triumph! But too soon, I was injured in an accident, while  hot-flashing with menopause, and response work burnout.     

And so it was Christmas 1996.  Till my disability setup was complete, I was Staying at the shelter I had helped before the disability, still helping with things, and doing up alterations of gifted clothing for others, for their job interviews, cultural enrichment,  including music and arts.  And I was able to help with computer training: and  even night watch, which was there for the men's but not the women's floor (but that's another story).

Memories of forty years of bountiful Christmases helped a lot, to buffer the suffering at the shelter, and I was able to generate some Holiday for me and the half dozen "mates" there.  But then another family death took even that bit of cheer from my heart.   I did not even have money for a few Christmas Cards - let alone the hundreds I was used to, since childhood.  My emotions were getting a bit scary.   "ACT ! "  "DO something" , , . I thought !  

As painful as it was, a walk to town was one block away and I went to the art shop where I'd purchased my first artists' mannequin as a girl, and found the thing I needed !   The spark rekindled on the spot !   I purchased it and limped back to the shelter, supper.  Then I found a tv table and a seat in the hall - making Christmas Cards with a stamp pad and Mary Englebreit's Santa image on the stamp, captioned,  in large letters  

"BELIEVE" .  

yes "Believe" I thought , as I set to it.
Soon, I smiled as the memory of a family movie trip, the very funny  Indiana Jones Library stamp scene came to mind.    I turned that thought as loose as I dared.   With each stamp to card, the message of cheer and the word "BELIEVE"  banged at my dulled consciousness - I was not on medications, but so battered emotionally , but this "Believe" stamp project was working -  and so I did more - and more,  now repeating the message to ME and the others in the shelter - 

"BELIEVE"      

Grasp the stamp:   "Thud"  to the stamp pad - "BANG" to card.    
Again and again and again and again - till the murky emotions let up and "normal" was within reach and I marveled at how a thing COULD help.   My mates reacted with holiday cheer and encouragement - YES - injured myself, I was still being a good redcrosslady.

NO it was not over for me:  there were "complications", to my own redemption,  but a bit later, my rescue came, correct care, mybungalow for business and pleasure - and my work at the White House!   "Pretty good believing, no?"    More than I dreamed !

YES I still have the kit and cards and have not needed to repeat the performance with them.  But I keep them handy - I may need them or need to share them with someone who needs to get their inner lights restored.

BELIEVE!  

you can get this online still - usually used at eBay but my ancient one still works, even if the rubber has petrified a bit...only a bit  Believe :-D This Christmas in August story is for Nora and Bernie Gadomski, whose "Christmas in August" invention became famous in the houses of healing in Connecticut USA - the story:  one of the rest home clients was much loved but not likely to make it till December, so the family and Nora's Crew at Elm Hill Manor got busy and created the holiday in August with all the bells and whistles!   Santa brought gifts, the resident's family and  children were invited and there was music and lots of food and treats and carol singing and a grand day for the grand person and his beloved folk, who maybe grieved a bit less , when he passed away, for having worked to make the happy Christmas in August. In following years it was re-done for the memory and some fundraising, I think.  Since it was a small private  Victorian Mansion, in the historic district,  the picture perfect Christmas in August became very popular. And more than once, shared the final holiday with other residents there.

you can get this online still - usually used at eBay but my ancient one still works, even if the rubber has petrified a bit...only a bit  Believe :-D

This Christmas in August story is for Nora and Bernie Gadomski, whose "Christmas in August" invention became famous in the houses of healing in Connecticut USA - the story:  one of the rest home clients was much loved but not likely to make it till December, so the family and Nora's Crew at Elm Hill Manor got busy and created the holiday in August with all the bells and whistles!   Santa brought gifts, the resident's family and  children were invited and there was music and lots of food and treats and carol singing and a grand day for the grand person and his beloved folk, who maybe grieved a bit less , when he passed away, for having worked to make the happy Christmas in August.

In following years it was re-done for the memory and some fundraising, I think.  Since it was a small private  Victorian Mansion, in the historic district,  the picture perfect Christmas in August became very popular. And more than once, shared the final holiday with other residents there.