If I am to be honest, I would have to say that this was not the merriest Christmas on record. Having said that, we are well and we are fed, so it’s also not the worst Christmas on record either.
I will not bother to whine about the particulars because I doubt that I am the only person in America who has been slapped upside the head by life lately or that my woes are worthy of mention compared to those that I know many of you are suffering.
In addition to all that, shortly after lunch on Christmas day, my mother-in-law’s twin brother came to the backdoor unannounced. Aunt Jean and I were in the kitchen washing up the lunch dishes when Uncle Leo appeared in the doorway.
I could see in his face that he had come to deliver the news we had all been expecting. “Pearl is gone,” he said quietly and matter-of-factly. After a long illness and untold suffering, Aunt Pearl had finally yielded the pain of this life to the sweet relief of death. And I did not blame her. She was 85-years-old.
Later that afternoon, AD and Sean and I went for a walk around the block to clear our heads and to see if we could find our misplaced merry. The sun sparkled brightly through leafless trees and the December air was cold and cleansing; its sting felt good on my face. AD and I walked hand-in-hand, listening to Sean chatter as he trotted ahead of us, collecting pine cones for me to carry home.
Before we were home, I realized that next year and in the years to come, I won’t remember the sorrows of this season, for they too shall pass. I will only remember how Sean’s hair shimmered like a brand new penny under the winter sun and the prickly feel of a pine cone pressed into my hand.
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What will you remember of this holiday season?