Updated: Dec 4, 2018
In memory of my father, LeRoy Dean Billings
My mother and father always made Christmas fun and memorable. One of my favorite qualities of my father was the love he showed for my mother. I can remember countless times my mother came home to flowers, a newly painted room and even a brand new fur coat. For the record, we lived in Southern California. Besides Hollywood movie stars nobody needed a fur coat.
One memory always comes to mind during this time of year. My mother was 18 years of age when her mother had suddenly passed away. I never met my grandma. My mother had been holding onto her mother’s engagement ring for 25+ years. One day while at work my mother noticed the diamond on her own wedding ring had fallen off. She was devastated. My father being the romancer that he was, decided to place the diamond from my grandmothers ring and place it on my mother’s wedding band.
Instead of having the ring wrapped up as a Christmas present, my father secretly placed the ring on one of the branches of the Christmas tree. Nobody in the family knew about the surprise. And just like Ralph in the movie, The Christmas Story, when all presents had been opened and the room was filled with torn up wrapping paper and toys...there was one gift hidden that still needed to be opened. It was a magical moment and something I will never forget. I truly was blessed to see love working in my home.
These are some guidelines my parents have taught me over the years about what happily married couples do:
1. Have positive conversations
2. Show affection
3. Remember that you are each other’s therapists
4. Be humble and cultivate Christlike attributes
5. Date frequently
6. Spend time with children and be kind to one another
7. Seek feedback and help each other
8 Eliminate anger
9. Be sensitive to each other’s stress levels
10. Be quick to forgive
My father now lives on the other side of the veil, however I still feel his love often. His example is the compass I frequently refer to as I now raise a family with the love of my life.
Choose to love!
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