Memories. They are being made in every moment. There are memories of moments in the past that spark a bittersweet nostalgia. There are memories of family feuds, of perceived righteousness, justification and indignation. The only memory far more powerful than all of these is Love.
While my childhood was far from perfect it is at times such as Christmas that I reflect fondly on the memories that I have that are rosy even if it is largely due to the lens with which I choose to view them.
There were the times that my brother would wake me up at two or three in the morning and together we would creep downstairs, he clutching a tiny flashlight, me clutching my childlike wonder. He would fumble around the christmas tree attempting to turn the lights on and the more he would try to be quiet the more he would knock things over. The only thing louder than his trial and errors were the giggles that I could not stifle. We never knew that our parents were laying in bed listening to us and stifling giggles of their own. Once the lights were on we looked upon the magical offerings displayed around the tree. A bride doll in a glittery white dress sitting resplendent on a red rocking chair, tonka trucks, crayons, army men, doll clothes. It was sheer and utter magic to our tender hearts.
There was the pure excitement as we watched our mother open her gift of Evening in Paris perfume that she neither needed nor enjoyed but made us feel that it was the most important gift she had ever received and wore it proudly Christmas morning. There was a gratefulness that mom knew the exact router bit my father wanted in his workshop and we delighted in his appreciation even though it was mom who bought it. Once all gifts had been exchanged it was time for Christmas breakfast which was such an occasion for us all and always led to delectable morsels that laid plentiful on the tables around the house. Peanut butter balls were my absolute favourite and mom always made sure they were part of our Christmas baking. We would graze all day until Christmas dinner was on the table.
Such are the memories I revisit each year. I may not be able to go home again as home and all those who are a part of these memories have since gone–but the vibration of Christmas past lives on. My granddaughter Bailey has finally bitten into her first peanut butter ball of the season—her favourite! Christmas breakfast may be bypassed this year due to Leah’s work schedule but that will not affect the joy in our hearts that we are still here, still together, and making memories.
I wish you all the merriest of Christmases—and memory making. What you do now will live on even when what you love most is no longer with you. There may be an empty chair or two at the table on any given year but one thing is for sure—they never leave your heart.