Monday, December 21, 2009

Mom and Dad's Christmas

My dad loved and made a big deal of Christmas time and mom went along with him even though she had to do most of the work. They decorated every room in the house and hung lights outside. They always wanted as many family members as they could get to come home for the holidays. It was always a special time in the Randle household even though mom and dad were not in the least religious. For dad, it was definitly the best time of the year and for mom, it was a chance to overfeed her family. They have been gone for over a decade now but I always remember them at Christmas.

It was them who made it so much easier for me to retire at 54.99 years of age. One day back in the early 90's I received a letter from my mother. This was unusual because, except for birthdays, this never happened. We talked on the phone at least once a week but never wrote. Inside the envelope was a cheque for $33,333.33. No note, just the cheque. Mystified, I called her. "Well", she said, "we had a bond mature for $100,000 and after talking about it decided we would never need it. We decided to divide it between you three kids so that you could enjoy it now". They were not rich people and this represented a significant portion of their life savings. I asked her what happened to the extra penny, suspecting that my sister (the oldest) got the extra cash. "No", she said, "I kept it. Otherwise it would not have been fair".

I immediatly called my bank to inquire what my outstanding mortgage was and it was just about this amount! I told them to pay it off as soon as the deposit arrived. This typically generous gesture from mom and dad allowed us to pay off our debts several years earlier than planned.

Dad was an armchair traveller. He knew the pyramids of Mexico and Egypt as intimately as any explorer did but never visited them. They always waited for the perfect time which never came. We encouraged them to travel but there was always a reason to wait. It may have been for the best as dad was not very adventurious when it came to experiencing other cultures. His taste in food did not venture outside the Canadian border and he was so sensitive to "hot" food that he considered plain old green peppers spicy. He would not have done well in Mexico. Knowing this, they made it possible for me to experience life outside our borders.

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  1. What a great family and wonderful pasrents you had CRoft!!!! Your tribute to them is timely and loving, cheers Les

  2. Croft
    I expect that is why you are the insightful person you are. There are not enough people like your parents (and you) in this world. Anyone who reads your blog can tell that.
    Bill in Nebraska

  3. Thanks for sharing, they looked and sound like they were great people. now they are memorialized on the internet forever.
    God bless and have a great Christmas!

  4. Hey Croft,

    Great blog, "my Dad's better than yours"!! LOL (Never used that term)
    Kelly from Whistler

  5. My story is pretty similar Croft. They say you can't pick your relatives, but I think we both did pretty well. Merry Christmas to both you and Norma.

    Rod W

  6. Sr. Croft,

    Thank you for sharing both the lovely story of your parents' generosity toward their three children and the absolutely wonderful photo of your parents!

    Merry Christmas and Happy Trails!

  7. That's a great story. Have a happy holiday.