I am sure you have seen the Apple commercial called “Duets”. It runs continuously on the Hallmark Channel. It is the one with the granddaughter using her Apple to create a duet with her grandmother’s old record. You guys, I cannot stop crying over this one. Even my kids stop in their tracks to listen and watch it and then when it is over immediately look my way and watch me fold into a puddle of tears. It is just plain messy.
The thing is, as I grew older, I started to mentally take snapshots of my loved ones in my life during the holidays. I actually started doing this pretty young. I can probably tell you 20 things I remember getting from Santa throughout all those years, but I can recount countless images and memories of people long gone and still here.
I have been told many times that I carry people with me too much, becoming a burden to my mind. Wearing on me, although I disagree with this entirely. The holidays bring it out more, memories of my Jaju, sitting on the same chair opening his gifts, listening to the Christmas polkas on full blast, going to get the Christmas tree alone with my dad, watching Grandpa take his chair from the kitchen and putting it basically in the hallway to open presents because there was no room for him with all the grandkids and their presents. Opening presents Christmas morning in the same spot in front of the fireplace for decades, going to see my Great Aunts and screaming full blast so they could hear us and watching them snuggle into all of us on the couch, and hearing my dad egg them on to get them to laugh.
This is the first Christmas without Grandma. I have to believe that it was her best one though. She was with her daughter and Grandpa. I think about her daily, often wishing I found more time to see her. But I know the time we did see each other was filled with laughter. Her absence is felt.
All of these memories mean more to me than any shiny gift.See, these precious memories are the gifts. I pray that my kids are starting to take mental images of their loved ones during these special times. It is food for the soul.
Miss F said to me a few weeks ago that Christmas means love. This is coming from a three year old. I looked at her and said she was so right.