Christmas Memories – John Cheatham (Grandaddy John)

I know that we have already left the Thanksgiving Holiday behind and we are all full steam ahead waiting for Christmas to arrive. However, I hope that as you went through Thanksgiving you took the time to think about your life and found things that made you thankful. While food on the table and a roof over your head type things are very important, I hope that we all have either had or have at least one person who is/was a part of our lives for which we are thankful. If not keep praying that person will come.

As we approach Christmas, for some reason this year, I have been thinking about the people in my life that made a positive impact. The person that I want to tell you about today is my Great Grand Father, John Cheatham. I pray that this year while you are with your friends and family you cherish them because no matter how much we love a person we are not in control of God’s plan for their lives.

A little history. I grew up in Detroit, Mi with my Mother and older brother. The majority of that time we lived in the parish house next door to the church where my grand father was Pastor. My grand parents lived approximately ten blocks from us and my great grandparents roughly 10 blocks from them. While growing up my brother and I, along with my cousins spent quite a bit of time with them.

Well as time went on my great grand parents started to become ill. The family came together and would take turns taking them to the hospital, doctors appointments etc. .. with my brother, cousins and I right alongside them. It got to a point where we knew which hospitals had the best cookies.

After a few years of dialysis things started to not look so good for Granddaddy John. He had been in the hospital for some while and they allowed him to come home for Christmas. Of course us being children we were just glad to have him home. I couldn’t have been happier.

Grandaddy John was always a very proud and strong man. He never looked down on people or compared himself to anyone else. He tried to help those he could and he would warn you about those you needed to look out for. However out of all his characteristics I loved the fact that he always had time to tell us a story. He would tell us stories about hunting, or about my mother and uncles when they were young and would get into trouble. So when I found out he was going to be home, I couldn’t wait to see him.

We were all at the house and Grandaddy John was in the room. I remember going in and out a lot and finally we were there alone and had a chance to talk. He started off telling me stories and me sitting there laughing. Then finally he said to me, “Sarah (this is not my name but pretty much the only name he ever called me), I just wanted to come home and see everybody.” I replied, “We are happy to see you too Grand Daddy”. He then told me “Good I’ll stay until the New Year” as a child had no idea what he meant. I thought he meant there at the house before going back to the hospital. Cool!

Well Christmas came and went. We all had a good time and enjoyed each others company. Jan. 1 came and went as well, and Granddaddy John was back in the hospital. On Jan 5th my mother, brother, uncle and I went to the hospital to visit. I remember waiting and waiting and then leaving. I never got to visit, I wanted to but my family didn’t understand and thought it was in my best interest not to see him. Later that evening we got a phone call that Granddaddy John had passed. Now his words made more sense. Granny passed a few months later. Some say from heart problems, I know from a broken heart.

The purpose of this story is not to make anyone sad. Actually to the contrary, this was one of the best Christmases I ever had. Everyone was happy and we all celebrated the right thing, each other. I was blessed to know my great grand parents and they were wonderful people. I think that will always be one of my all time favorite Christmases and I couldn’t even begin to tell you what presents I received. Get it?

What about you? Leave a comment, long or short telling us about your favorite Christmas memory:).

Be Blessed.

River Angel42

PS Thinking of them also makes me remember the Christmas lights they had outside all year round. The string of lights with the really big candle flame shaped bulbs that got hot.


Leave a Reply