Just a thought… If I try to say what you mean to me, I wouldn’t know where to start. Because you’re always on my mind and forever in my heart. [Author Unknown]
Today I could write about signs from above or Christmas trees, the roadrunner I saw in a parking lot the other day (for real – here’s the picture)…
…or the coyotes who leave poop in our neighbourhood and have us on high alert when Molly goes out for her bedtime piddle.
I could tell you about the house across the street from our rental in Palm Springs that every single day has two classic cars in the carport. They’re movie-set-beautiful and I believe that it’s part of a rotating car program that makes a house look occupied (although a Ford Taurus would be far less conspicuous than a 60s model Chrysler Imperial with huge fins). We haven’t figured that out yet.
I could tell you about having my arms full of tops to try on at the local Stein Mart, only to put everything back on its rack and leave when the unending Christmas music in the store finally pecked away through the protective coating I try to shield myself in, and got to me.
I could tell you about how we aren’t putting up one ornament or card or a coloured candle again this year and that we’re totally okay with it. Christmas Eve will be spent in a seafood restaurant we found last week. Rob, his sister Sue and I will sit outside and catch up with each other, our talk and laughter perhaps drowning out the sounds of Bing and Dean.
Christmas will see a few little gifts in the morning, Pillsbury Grand rolls for breakfast (Lauren’s favourite once-a-year food tradition) and a turkey because we love turkey. We’ll spend the day outside, probably walking or reading. Rob and Sue may reminisce a bit about past Christmases with their folks; the movie Holiday Inn is on the PVR and maybe Christmas night they’ll watch it while I play word games on my phone. I don’t know. Except for a grocery list, I’m not planning very far ahead right now. One day at a time.
I could tell you that we stayed up until 4 am yesterday at a local casino playing nickel video poker while the cleaning staff vacuumed around our feet, just because we didn’t have to sit at home and think. And feel.
I could tell you all of these things, write them down and put them in today’s journal, but I’d have to figure out, as Bob Seger wrote, “what to leave in; what to leave out.”
Ah, there are so many distractions in December: Lights! Parades! Dog photos with Santa! This is such a joyful time of year for almost everyone else – and I hope that includes you – and I hate to bring it back to the deep sadness that we feel, that so many feel, at this time of year when there’s someone you miss with all of your heart who should be with you – or at the other end of a phone call – and just isn’t. And it’s not ***** fair. (Add the expletive of your choice, please. And be creative.)
I could write of the anticipation and crazy glee that returned when, although we were no longer children, Rob and I had the experience of watching Christmas through our little girl’s eyes. The Precious Moments fabric I used to sew her first stocking. The time she bounded out to the cottage living room to see a giant stuffed Santa sitting atop a snow racer. The year that, as a young child, all she wanted was a “kittar (guitar) and a flashlight.” (This year, her little son’s list includes a bucket. A four-year-old with an actual bucket list.)
We tuck away in the deep, safe corners of our hearts the Christmas mornings we were painting on our imagination’s colourful canvas of the many raucous and bursting-with-excitement memories we were sure were to come.
Colin will still have those mornings – Phil and his Christmas-adoring wife Brooke will see to it – and one day we may be part of them on the actual day instead of a month in advance as we were this year. And for that hope and that boy we are forever grateful. Lauren gave us a gift that we will continue to cherish and to love beyond words for the rest of our lives.
I could write about so many things today: the weather (though you’d hate me), the hassle of waiting around all day for a guy to come and fix an ice maker that we don’t use anyway, or the nice lady showing me cat videos on her phone as we played side-by-side at the casino.
I could write from the head or I could speak from the heart. I’ll choose the latter and go on my way, asking not for condolences or sympathy – just to tell you to know that I am grateful to have this place to say anything or nothing at all. Back with you here tomorrow.