Rated: E · Non-fiction · Death · #1968276
The emotions brought fourth by putting up a Christmas tree.
The tree now takes it's graceful turn to tell me all about the souls I've lost. When the time arrived to carry it out of the shed that was the worst moment, the one that filled me with such dread. There it lay like the coffins had, one by one as the years went by. I had tears to shed. My tears felt like a life time of pain that comes over me when the calender states it's December the 1st. The pride I still hold when in those memories of yesterdays I see youthful faces that were so bright when they once helped make gatherings that I know can never come again.
So I muscle up my courage to pull the artificial tree from the box. No mouse had made a home here under the old sheet that helped protect it from dust or all the wet grass when the lawn was mowed. I stood it up tall in it's stand and pulled and shaped it's branches all over again. There was some excitement around me, that's true. The older cat Jack could remember that this was his first joy at finding his home when we carried him into our living room. This was for him the assurance that all is well and now he has new sisters to show them the art of pulling the ornaments off the tree. He knew there would be scoldings if he became over zealous in his efforts to gain a new toy. How could I deny him some bit of joy.
My hands felt old as my fumbling fingers placed each sparkling ornament in it's place. No one would know from glancing at this tree that angels were hung there in telling my little grand daughter that she is always a part of me. Angel wings are hanging there as I remember the moment they came, first to tell me about a loss our family would experience. Yet I would never had guessed God was taking back to Him one so young as she. On a bough there is a white dove just like the one I had owned once before, but she loved it, so now it is by her side in a grave yard. My old heart finds no place to put the memory of her there. I've replaced the image with the one I believe. My most precious grandchild is in the presence of God. All I really wanted was for her to be healthy and happy. Somehow I believe it is so.
I think of many trees gone before me in old films that wind up and runs through my brain. A tree that came straight from the forest. As it was bundled into the trunk of the car with branches tied down, and with cold shinny noses, we took the time to savor the smell of the pine that left needles all over the floor. It was so beautiful as it got turned all about to bring to the front the best side to show. I think trees are a little like people that way. If you fix your face with a little make up and put on your lip stick, you hope nobody can see where you've frowned. The tree was trimmed, the star on top with blue ornaments all over. That was what he wanted, and in my joy of pleasing him, I agreed blue was just the right hue. This would be his last Christmas tree. It didn't tell us that as we beamed at it's beauty, and our children gathered around it telling us what they had asked Santa to bring them this year. So on this day as I run the ribbon around this Christmas tree, I notice there isn't a blue ornament for any one to see. He left us by New Years that year. As he drove over the cold frozen roadways while others were toasting the New Year in. One man who had taken to many sips of the New Years brew was the undoing of this thirty year old man. Christmas took a shot in the heart that year. His badge couldn't save him. I really don't want to remember, but he's one person I can't forget.
The season looks so bright as I plug up the tree in the corner as dusk falls over the day. I still wipe away a tear as I go through the Sunday conversation I had with my dear sister. She cried her tears of missing him, our brother who left when she was fourteen, and I only ten. People say time helps you to let go of the ones you loved, but that is quite a joke. So somehow the holidays that force merriment out of our souls, just doesn't want any sadness when, for many, that's what our hearts hold. I think I'll go out to the store where people are pushing and pulling, trying to grab the best bargains to lay under the tree. I'll buy an ornament all in blue, and a silver one too, for the young men that were in my life. One my husband, one my brother, maybe a special rose for my mother. Perhaps by bringing the memories into full bloom they won't have to be hidden away. If my tree can stand for sweet blessings, then I'll be in better spirits as I share my Christmas day.