Contisha Hayes. (Photo: Akron Police)
Don't tell me there's never been some kind of family tussle over Christmas in your house. You know there has. Whether it was between sisters over whose Barbie doll got the better new outfit or between brothers over a gift that one got and the other one didn't, you know there has been some kind of sibling rivalry.
Lack of sleep and over-excitement on the holiday are usually contributing factors but it never really escalated beyond hurt feelings or a few tears. But two Akron women took a fight in the kitchen to a whole new level, as one ended up getting stabbed and the other is now sitting in the Summit County Jail. Know that both women are 21 and alleged to be "adults."
Now I've heard about siblings not agreeing on how to cook Christmas dishes "the way Mom or Gramma used to make it." but not in any house I've ever lived in. Akron police say a third sister told them that she was in her kitchen cooking when her two sisters started "play fighting" over the apple fritters.
The "food fight" apparently escalated with one pulling the other's hair before Tamara Delaney, 21, was stabbed in the chest by her sister Contisha Hayes, also 21. Contisha has been charged with felonious assault. Thankfully, the stab wounds are not life-threatening, according to officials at Akron City Hospital.
So, I just spent 23 hours with my two sisters, my brother-in-law, the family dog named Riley, my niece and my nephew. My nephew had a short turnaround on his job and couldn't come home for Christmas so all the rest of us piled into one car with Riley and drove to his place in Pittsburgh. No fights, despite us all being crammed in one car with a Christmas Honey-Baked Ham, all the presents and all the luggage.
Now, I will say that our parents raised us right so fighting on holidays was never acceptable behavior. Or fighting among ourselves at any time was never something that was tolerated.
As I sat in the back seat riding back from Pittsburgh today (no, none of my family wanted to stay until the Browns played the Steelers on Sunday --- I am the only football fan left in the family since my Daddy died years ago), I thought about another family who faced their first Christmas without their father/brother. I realized that memories are wonderful and they can warm your heart but time marches on.
Don't wait for a special occasion or holiday to tell someone how you feel about them. Don't wait to say what you need to say, because tomorrow isn't promised to anyone. Memories are wonderful but nothing replaces a hug and a kiss. As our mothers always told us, "play nice, now." And if you must fight over food, put the utensils down and throw the food instead.