Today’s guest is no stranger to many of you as Debby Gies, author D.G. Kaye speeds through the Internet like a express train, promoting all of us with elegance and sincere friendship. She is a terrific supporter of Indie authors and you will find interviews, reviews and posts on life at http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Recently Debby published a poignant and thought provoking memoir titled P.S. I Forgive You, about her turbulent relationship with her mother that echoed down the years even after her death. Of course there have been some great reviews and I will tell you more about the book later.
First however, I will hand you over to Debby…..
As each December approached, I’d take in the views of the glorious glow of Christmas lights and decorations sprouted everywhere, from the street light posts to the homes we’d pass while driving by them, sparkling in all their glory. I was a child and wanted so badly to be part of Christmas.
Coming from a family that didn’t practice much of religion, and having Orthodox Jewish grandparents on my paternal side, didn’t afford me the luxury of having a Christmas tree. This didn’t mean that I didn’t love Christmas and all special festivities I’d witnessed on TV and from visiting friend’s homes who celebrated. I envied the kids who spent fun times with their families, doing traditional holiday things such as wrapping presents, singing carols and most especially, decorating the tree. Oh how I longed to have a bright and sparkly Christmas tree in my home.
When I was very young I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be a part of the festive season, and nobody explained religion to me, other than being told by my grandparents that Jews don’t celebrate that holiday. I’d remembered hearing snippets of memories my mother had mentioned in passing about her lack of Christmas festivities in her own childhood because they were poor, and even though her mother loved Christmas, they didn’t celebrate it because my maternal grandfather was Jewish. I felt empty inside. I felt trapped and confused wondering what kind of religion was I part of where we didn’t celebrate the universal Christmas, and the holidays we did celebrate were not near as much fun.
I wanted to be a part of a family celebration, and other than seeing the menorah lit at my grandparents’ house or gathering there for a compulsory Passover dinner, which consisted of what felt like hours of sitting at the Seder table listening to Hebrew prayers, we didn’t celebrate anything. This didn’t quench my fascination and longing to celebrate with loved ones, nor did I feel any bonding; something I craved much of as a child.
I wanted to wrap up shiny presents and give them to people I loved. I wanted to give gifts even more than I wanted to receive them. I wanted to sing to Christmas songs and wake up Christmas day and run to the tree and open presents with my family.
When I turned eleven, my excitement for Christmas had only heightened. I decided that I just had to be a part of the tradition, if only in a small way. So I began my own ritual.
I was the eldest of four—the mother hen of my siblings. We were alone together much of our childhoods and I wanted to get them as excited as I was about the Christmas holiday spirit. I saved my allowance and went to the local drug store before Christmas Eve and bought candy and little prizes with the coins I had saved, so that I could fill stockings for them. I told my siblings to hang a sock over the fireplace before they went to bed on Christmas Eve. And I made up little Christmas stories to convince them that Santa loved all children, and told them if they would be good and not fight, Santa would come to our house too.
I filled those stockings for a few years, until the younger ones realized, as they were getting older, that there wasn’t really a Santa. But for those four to five years, I filled their imaginations and stockings, and they believed in the magic of Christmas. Through those years, I wanted a Christmas tree so badly, and I never gave up asking my mother to allow us to have one, to no avail. I even tried to sell her on the idea of getting a Hannukah bush, but that never happened either.
When I moved away from home, still in my teens, I got my first tree. I couldn’t wait for Christmas to come so I could go and buy the biggest tree I could find that would fit in my living room. It was a Scotch Pine, and I didn’t realize just how humongous it was until it ‘thawed’ and drank lots of water, until its branches unfolded to almost eight feet wide! I also wasn’t aware of the potential aftermath of prickly Scotch Pine tiny needles left fallen deep inside my shag carpet, long after Christmas passed.
Excitement filled me as a friend took me to a tree farm and I picked out my first beautiful tree that he happily loaded on his truck and helped me carry inside my small apartment. The thrill continued when I went out the next day to purchase my first sparkly, Christmas ornaments to decorate my very own tree.
First time experiments aren’t always conducted with great expertise, and when we’re young we don’t always seem to worry about repercussions. By the time the season ended, that tree had grown so ginormous and needles were falling at lightning speed. My thick, blue shag carpet had already had many needles buried deep within it and when it came time to throw out the tree, I shuddered at the thought that most needles would have fallen off before I got it to the front door, so I resorted to Plan B.
The 14 x 14 inch window was only a few feet away from the tree. A few pals came over, helped me move the couch away from the window, and somehow we managed to fit that 8 ft x 8 ft tree out the window then retrieved it quickly before the superintendent would see it, and carried the almost bald branches to the garbage room.
I will never forget how happy I was that Christmas Eve, in my own peaceful home, sipping wine with close friends in front of the tree, my first real Christmas Eve. I also learned for future trees, how to anticipate their girth spread, and to never get a Scotch Pine again. LOL
©D.G. Kaye 2016
“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”
Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.
After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.
And one of the latest reviews.
By Di Amazon Customer on November 22, 2016
I have always felt that something good can always come from something bad and this book clearly proves it. D.G. Kaye is the good that has for some blessed reason come from a horrific childhood. Her mother trumps the fictional mom in Yaya Sisterhood played by Ashley Judd and Ellen Burstyn about a very selfish and narcissistic woman! Whose line in one of the scenes was “Do I look fat?” The sad thing was this book is not writing about a fictional character but a mother who raised an amazing daughter in-spite of her lack of knowing how to love anyone but herself.
I have sent this book to two friends that I feel can relate and need to know that they are not alone and can rise above where they came from and not feel guilt for being angry at their moms.
This book is sad but empowering. Showing that you are not your mothers!
Read all the reviews and BUY the book: P.S. I Forgive You
Also by D.G. Kaye
Read the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
Connect with D.G. Kaye
My website: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
My thanks to Debby for her entertaining story and look forward to your feedback. Thanks Sally