Longing for the season to be over. I dialled up my job and opted to work on Christmas Day. That’s how it’s been for me since 1999.
My mother waited for the first afternoon in December, when my father was away. Behind the closed doors of the lounge, she’d begun her project of adorning the tree with irreplaceable baubles collected over fifty years of marriage.
My father, a soft soul, enjoyed every moment of Christmas. He delighted in a well roasted turkey with his favourite dessert, a brandy glazed pudding, that tasted so much better with the three of us seated at the table. How we laughed when he finally plucked up the courage to tell me how much he hated that smoked salmon starter.
Favoured to have such wonderful parents. Precious moments seasoned with love.
I still remember: the year I bought my dad a CD sound system that he couldn’t afford for himself and how he left the room to cry; my mother all of a dither as she sprayed Chanel; my father fussing around giving her hugs.
I still have the yellow rug that he searched the market for and how pleased he was as he struggled to fit it into his car for that special Christmas party at my new house.
It’s been twenty-one years since I celebrated Christmas. The grief of loss grips my throat, tears welling up, ready to spill.
Kindred sweethearts are now in heaven.
Happy New Year.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
Christmas for me has mixed cheer of the wonderful memories it gives me and the sadness of those lost.
Merry Christmas to you all.
Her first love is writing and has been honing her craft for many years. With painting her second love, her art is locally recognised for its seascapes. Well travelled, she once took a cruiser out to Alcatraz where she was locked in solitary confinement for an hour. "That hour, felt like days," she recalls with a sense of accomplishment.