Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas in Omaha

I spent Christmas in Omaha again this year with, Sister Johanna (my aunt) and Sister Jeanne. Before you ask – no, there was no blizzard this year and the weather was pleasant – slightly colder than Denver. In fact, it was 40 degrees Thursday morning in Omaha when I left. The flight left on time and arrived in Denver 30 minutes early. I have not had that happen in the past. It started snowing shortly after I arrived and became Denver’s worst snowstorm of the season. Good thing I had an early flight. I knew the good weather would not last forever. It had been in the 50’s and 60’s the whole time I was gone.

It turned out to be a very sad time for the Mercy Community. One of Johanna’s dear friends was in a car crash. They think she must have had a massive heart attack. For those of you that know some of the sisters, Stella was one of the sisters that was with Johanna for their 50th Jubilee. A few days later Sister Joan (pronounced JoAnn) died. She has fought a battle with cancer for 19 years and has been on Chemo every week for years for the liver cancer. She also was a very close friend and lived next door to Johanna and Jeanne. Sister Marie, who lives on their floor, stumbled over a rod sticking out from a snow removal. When she fell she broke her pelvis and has a couple of other fractures in her hip and leg. Then two other sisters being taken care of at the Villa also died. It was a very hectic two weeks for the sisters.

Johanna and Jeanne invited three other sisters for Christmas Eve Dinner and then on Christmas we went to Jeanne’s sister’s house in Iowa for a wonderful dinner.

20 ft live Poinsettia Tree - cranberries in the pool below - train tracks above and through the tree
Poinsettia tree - they were everwhere
We did have the opportunity to put the sadness aside for a couple of days and visited the Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Botanical Center, on Sunday. It turned out to be free admission, which makes it that much better. It was the most beautiful display of Poinsettias that I have ever seen, over 5200 on display. The Poinsettias are changed every three weeks. The ones on the tree are on a wired frame. They have a very small person climb this cage, on the inside, and change out the Poinsettias. They had large train sets going all over the place and one was going right through the center of the tree. Sister Jeanne’s brother, Father Charlie, joined us and we had a wonderful lunch while we were there.

On Monday we went to the Historic General Dodge House in Council Bluffs for a private tour. It was absolutely beautiful and we were able to go clear up to the third floor, and then to the basement with its brick floor. The house was decorated for Christmas, which made it very special. One of Jeanne’s nieces went with us. 

On Tuesday Johanna and I met with some very special people to have lunch. Then on Wednesday we took a day of rest and stayed around the apartment. It was really nice down time. Thursday morning, bright and early, I flew home.

My little Ember was so glad to see me. After I got unpacked all she wanted to do is stay right with me. Every time I left the bedroom she would sit on the bed and call me back. I would lie down on the bed and she would lie on top of me. I was not getting out of her sight again. She has been right with me all day again today. What would I do without my little love? It was a wonderful welcome home.

"Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas." ~ Dale Evans

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