At Christmas, all roads lead home.  ~Marjorie Holmes

Growing up my brother and I were raised on one hundred acres of perfect Sanger graze land, just north of Denton, Texas.  At our house there was a majestic view from every window, but the house was completely surrounded by a a fence.  It served its purpose in keeping the cattle away from the porch, yet it seemed to be the place I remained most of my childhood, staying within the fence.
Looking back it seems so strange that we had all that land, but we had to remain most of the time within the confines of those closed gates.  For myself ,I could only call it a loss and go on, but for my brother Vaude it was different.  He had more freedom at a younger age than I, but when he did get it, he went as fast as he could, like a canary that broke out of its cage.  He always was a restless spirit, and peace was just not within this grasp then, and unlike the distance that seperates counties and states, I could not reach him for a very long time.
It wasn't until the last few years that his heart had settled down.  We had not seen each other in over ten years, but he had called me several times, and our talks had become increasingly longer.   I had invited him to stay many times at no avail, yet I never ventured out his way either.  I kept imagining that when we were older, and retired that we would have lots of time to visit one another then, and maybe even live near each other.  I knew that then we could make up for all the time we lost.  Unfortunately, on Christmas day 2002, my brother died of a massive heart attack at the Elks Lodge in Denton.  It is a day that has forever changed me.  I had spent so much time being too busy to get away, that like a fence, I kept myself from going where I should have gone.  I can't have that time back.  I can only learn from it.  I do not ever want to take anything or anyone for granted.
Christmas is a time of hope, celebration, and an opportunity to reach out to others, as God has to us.  I want to take this time to reflect, and look forward, with the thankfulness I should have for all the wonderful people in my life.  My plans with my brother may have been altered, but they were not completely changed, only the destination.  For I know that we will meet again beyond the confines of this world.
God bless you all today, and always.


  1. Breaking down the fences. What a poignant Christmas message.

  2. Thanks for sharing this very personal post with us Carrie. Within these beautiful words there is a very special & poignant message for all of us. I wish you & yours all the very best for a wonderful Christmas.

  3. What a beautiful write and tribute to your brother...a message that we all need to hear and take to heart in our lives...thank you so much Carrie...this is a Wonderful Christmas gift that I will cherish...bkm

  4. What a lovely message, Carrie.

  5. Thank you for sharing this piece of your heart Carrie. As a widow, I can understand the meaning of how losing your brother impacted your life. You are an inspiration to all of us.

  6. A nice tribute and message for Christmas and the new year ahead.

  7. I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, Carrie. Indeed, the time is always now; tomorrow may not be there...

  8. I need to go visit my brother!! He moved to Europe a while back and I don't get to see him enough. Life is short. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. well, time splips by so quickly... a true beleiver that even the small moments shared can be treasured.

  10. We do get so caught up in our own busyness sometimes...when love and relationships are all that really matter.

    Thanks for such an important reminder...embodied in your memory of that fence, and the freedom that lies beyond it!


  11. good message for this time of year Carrie- have a wonderful Christmas ...

  12. thank you for touching our lives through your story...this year will be a time of reflection for me as well...

  13. This post made me cry..this year and most of next too will be remembereing and reflecting about what I have gained and what I lost in my life.
    Thankyou for stopping byso that I couldfindyou too and connect

  14. Thank you for sharing this wonderful message.

  15. Thank you so much for taking the time to read it....I wrote this one in 2003 the next Christmas after Vaude passed away. It was difficult to write, but healing as well. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas with your families. :-)

  16. Thanks so much for the reflection and introspection. Your raw honesty is refreshing and you have certainly opened the gate and moved from the confines of the fence.

    May God bless you and keep your heart tender always.

  17. passez un bon fétes de fin d'année.

  18. Thanks for sharing this lovely Christmas message, loved it:)
    Take care
    Marinela x

  19. poignant.

    Merry Christmas and wishing you a blessed year 2011

  20. so sorry to hear about this carrie - your story touched my heart and made me think about how i spend my time and also about my relationship with my brother - we live quite close but see each other almost never..

  21. You've found a great gift hidden in the sorrow of death: The love of life.

  22. this was a tender, heartfelt piece...very well written...and i am so sorry for your loss...my brother and i got back together at christmas three years ago after a long time adrift...thanks for sharing...pete

  23. Dear Carrie,
    Thank you for sharing this very poignant and deeply personal story. A sad loss to recall at this time of the year.
    Carrie, Thank you for your friendship and support. I enjoy following your words and appreciate your good spirit and sense of encouragement.
    All my best wishes to you and your family for Christmas and the New Year.

  24. Oh Dear C.,

    My brother died two years ago... because of a fatal and fast cancer. I know how you feel... and Xmas is usually a time when those who are not among us any more are more missed than usual- yet The family needs to stay together- no matter what...

    Warm hugs Carrie
    And merry Xmas to you too¨


  25. I cannot wait to see my brother again, at the end of my road. Beautiful piece Carrie.
    Merry Christmas!

  26. ohhh Carrie...this really touched me. When I opened your blog and saw that fence...the first thought I had was it looks so pretty with the lights and then....I read your post. I never want to take anyone or anything for granted too. Thanks for sharing your heart....Wishing you His absolute best over the holidays...Sarah

  27. You've got me thinking about what Christmas must be like in heaven. What a celebration. Merry Christmas Carrie.

  28. I have been so touched to this post.,
    I used to live in Denton Texas a few years ago..
    But- I have learned something You learned this moment.
    " It is a day that has forever changed me. I had spent so much time being too busy to get away, that like a fence, I kept myself from going where I should have gone. I can't have that time back. I can only learn from it. I do not ever want to take anything or anyone for granted."
    Thank you for sharing this with us- With me, and I know that he is watching down on you with everyone one & God by his side.
    Have a Merry Christmas,.<3 xoxo

  29. Merry Christmas! May God Bless You.

  30. …………(¯`O´¯)
    …………*./ | \ .*
    ………, • '*♥* ' • ,
    ……. '*• ♫♫♫•*'
    ….. ' *, • '♫ ' • ,* '
    ….' * • ♫*♥*♫• * '
    … * , • Merry' • , * '
    …* ' •♫♫*♥*♫♫ • ' * '
    ' ' • . CHRISTMAS . • ' ' '
    ' ' • ♫♫♫*♥*♫♫♫• * ' '

    to my dear < Carrie!!!!!♥

  31. Carrie a wonderfully written post.
    I am wishing a wonderful and love-filled holiday.
    Thanks for all your support throughout the year.

  32. Wow! Absolutely beautiful!!!! I'm just here today because you've been in my thoughts! But I'm so glad I didn't miss this post!! I want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!! Love, Janine XO

  33. oh, Carrie,
    this pierced my soul in a way .

    peace to you tonight,
    and always.

  34. What a blessing you all are to me....your encouragment and kindness is appreciated more than words can say! God bless you all! :-)

  35. Dear Carrie,

    I have a story about my one and only brother which I still can't share until today. Reading your story, maybe I will find a way to deal with it someday. I can't even write about it.

    All I know is love makes us go places deeper and further and sometimes it brings pain, sometimes joy, which is part and parcel of living a full life.

    Bless you and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I spent it writing, writing and writing. But we did take the kids out to Kuala Lumpur to gaze at the Twin Towers on Christmas Eve (they looked like two Christmas trees according to the girls) and saw the tallest Christmas tree - 3 stories high! And ended the evening with Tron Legacy at the movies.

    The girls and their Daddy are at the beach in Pulau Pangkor now because I really needed time to write.


  36. Ninotaziz....i understand how hard it can be to dig into your heart and soul and bring the words to the surface...it can be healing,yet it is very painful....sounds like you had a lovely Christmas with your family...thank you for being such a wonderful friend! :-)

  37. Carrie, your gentle sincere words cause us to pause... in the sweetest thanksgiving of ways...


  38. timeless message..
    beautiful delivery..

    Greetings, how are you?

    Welcome join us at potluck week 16, with theme as celebrations and festivities..

    Feel free to claim awards via the link below…

    Awards 4 potluck week 16

    We value your support, Have A blessed Holiday!
    Best Wishes 4 the year of 2011….
    Next Potluck is January 9, 2010,
    Please Don’t miss this golden opportunity to shine!
    Feel Free to link in 1 to 3 old poems or poems unrelated to our theme today,



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