I think it may have been around 1954 when my younger brother, Pete, and I ran into the living room to the Christmas tree early in the morning to find Santa had come and brought us all some gifts. I don’t remember what Momma or anybody else got, but I got a Roy Roger’s Ranch Set, complete with Nellybelle, Bullet, Trigger, Dale, Buttermilk, and of course, Roy!!!
It's funny; I remember more Christmases, but none more so than that one. Which is strange because I received other gifts throughout my childhood, like a “Crash-Mobile,” (that gift was a big hit, LOL), that were just as wonderful. But, as my late friend and NA sponsor, Jim, wrote in one of his songs, “It’s strange what we remember, and sad what we forget.”
The Christmas holiday meals were ALWAYS fabulous, regardless of whether I was in TN with my Momma’s side of the family or in GA with my paternal Grandmother and that side of the family. So, yeah, broken home, blended family (sometimes the “blending” was a little lumpy), and all that stuff. But, when I was a little kid, I was somehow able to look past the CRAP and find the good in most situations. I say most because there were some instances in which there simply was no good – like my step-grandfather’s suicide when I was fourteen.
But today, December 24, 2022, I’m not really looking back. I am looking forward. And at my age, with the uncertainty of how many more Christmases I will see, looking forward seems appropriate. I will try to make the most of my life in whatever time remains on my clock. And during the holiday periods, of which I am blessed to be a part, I will have plenty of time to walk down memory lane with my wife, kids, and many in-laws and relatives near and far.
Yeah, my ears still ring, I’m still overweight, and still take a crapload of pills every day. But I still have the music! And I still sing and play the guitar and write!! So, this Christmas Eve, I am thankful for that. And I am thankful and grateful for you, my fans, and my friends. And to everyone, I wish the Merriest of Christmases and the best of New Years and what’s to come.
Michael “Big Dog” Murphy