Veronica lost the joy of Christmas due to grief
|Christmas used to be Veronica Murray's favorite holiday. Since she was a little girl, the holiday's were a special time of year for her. She always dedicated the whole month of December for holiday cheer. This year, unfortunately, she can't seem to find joy in anything. Last Christmas Eve, Veronica's boyfriend, William, of six years was hit by a drunk driver on his way home. The impact of the crash killed him instantly. The drunk driver walked away unscratched but she has to live with herself, knowing she took another man's life. Veronica sent the women an angry letter to the jail, shortly after the accident, hoping for closure but it only made her feel ugly inside.
Veronica desired to be a hermit this holiday but it's a Murray family tradition to trade the holiday's between their home and their cousin's house. Christmas festivities were being held at the Murray's residence this year and she couldn't let her mother down. She promised her family she would decorate the house while they were working. She had to pull through for her family even if she wasn't up for it.
Veronica gathered all the boxes labeled "XMAS" from the basement and carried them upstairs to the living room. It took her several trips, carrying each overflowing box one at a time. By the time she was finished, her cheeks were a bright crimson red, beads of sweat poured from her forehead and she was rolling her eyes incessantly. Decorations forced their way from the boxes, spilling out from the tops. There was tinsel, stands of lights, ornaments, garland, the list goes on. A small box filled with the family's stockings appeared to be the easiest to manage, so she began there while shaking her head nonstop. With the way she behaved, you'd assume she was the Grinch. With a profound frown and an intense sigh escaping her every few moments, she hung the stockings one by one on the fireplace mantel. It was the family's tradition to hang the stockings according to age. Since Veronica was the youngest sibling of four, her stocking hung last on the mantel with her father's at the opposite end. Each stocking was handmade and decorated according to the individual's personality and interests. Veronica's golden stocking was delicately lined with lace and miniature plastic figurines of a ballerina and yogi. There was a tiny plastic camera with scattered photo's Veronica took over the years that were shrunk down in size to fit around the stocking. Each of the seven chakra's symbols lined the left side of the stocking. Just a year ago, dance, yoga, meditation, and photography were passions of hers. Looking at the stocking now, Veronica can't remember the last time she partook in any of her favorite hobbies. It almost seemed as if it were another person's life altogether.
Depression has taken a toll on her over the past twelve months. Isolation becoming a priority in life, she even avoided the neighbors when she left the house. As Veronica hung her stocking on the mantel, tears welled up in her eyes and her bottom lip trembled. She sniffled, wiped her face and looked away from the decorations to regain composure. Once she felt calm, she fingered each decoration on her stocking, reminiscing on memories of her past. She felt a small bulge at the bottom of the stocking and reached inside. There was a silver jewelry box engraved with her name, that was shoved all the way in the corner of the stocking. Inside the cover of the box was engraved, "Will you marry me? -William" and held an impressive, delicate vintage style diamond ring. Veronica's eyes widened at the sight of the elegant pear-shaped ring and her mouth dropped open, her hand covering her mouth. Tears spilled from her eyes and a lump formed in her throat, choking her up.
William intended to propose last Christmas. After the accident, she was distraught and didn't feel up to celebrating. She spent last Christmas alone in her bed, hysterically crying and grief-ridden. To her knowledge, there was nothing in her stocking so it must have been packed away after the holidays with the ring left inside. Little did she know, her engagement ring was in her basement this whole time. Veronica felt a sudden cheerfulness that she'd been missing since William passed away. Blasting Christmas tunes, she decorated the entire house with a smile, twinkle in her eyes and pep in her step that wasn't there earlier. By midday, the house was decorated from ceiling to floor in each room. It was magnificent and resembled home's you'd discover inside magazines. Homemade sugar cookies were made and dinner was prepared for the whole family as a surprise when they arrived, something Veronica hadn't done in months.
After eating a wonderful dinner with her family, Veronica drove to William's gravesite for only the second time. After the funeral, she couldn't bring herself to visit him. It was too much to handle and her grief couldn't take much more. At the gravestone, she closed her eyes and sighed deeply, releasing any negative energy. A new-found peace washed over her. "Hi William," she spoke aloud to his gravestone, "I'm sorry I haven't been here to see you. It's not because I didn't want to come, I hope you understand that. I found your ring today. I came here to tell you, yes. I won't necessarily be marrying you due to the circumstances but I would have. I wanted to marry you. Even though I can't marry you anymore, I want you to know that in my heart, I am forever yours. So, yes William, yes. Goodbye. I love you."