Saturday, December 21, 2013

the ghost of christmas past

christmas cookies
 (pentax, film)

Wherever you are when you receive this letter
I write to say we are still ourselves
In the same place
And hope you are the same.

 The dead have died as you know
And will never get better,
And the children are boys and girls
Of their several ages and names.

So in closing I send you our love
And hope to hear from you soon.
There is never a time
Like the present. It lasts forever
Wherever you are. As ever I remain.

 (The Christmas Letter, John N. Morris)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

it's christmas time

Just after Thanksgiving, the tree was up. A family crisis of sorts pulled me away from virtual reality and deeply into reality. Meanwhile, a very dear friend battles for her sons life and I prepare my daughter for his hair loss. E and I sing Chinese songs together, over and over. I dive into one novel after another. I teach 2 new RNs how to juggle the demands of hospital nursing, and there are so many rewards in this. I listen to rain and thunder. I let the humid air sink into my bones and ask the sky for a real autumn, which has yet to show its face for more than a couple of days. I miss my mom to the point of tears. I contemplate Jupiter, writing a book, or returning to school. I browse websites hosting "orphans", wishing we could bring another daughter or a son into this small family of 3. I worry constantly, about everything: my weight, E's future, finances, outcomes that can't be predicted. E demands more math facts and floors me with her knowledge and love of a subject I never truly mastered. I imagine the crunch of snow under my feet, something I have not felt in so many years I'm almost convinced I dreamed the memory. I put on my headphones and practice my tones, anxious to be fluent in a language I barely understand. I go to a movie with a friend. I ask G if we'll marry soon and hardly wait for an answer. We are already married and the paper holds so little meaning for either of us. I celebrate my birthday (12/12), and it is very very good. I listen to music. Sometimes I dance in the kitchen. I hold my daughter's hand. I hold G's hand. I skip mass for another week and another and those weeks have turned into years. I miss God. I turn the music up loud in my car. And make silly faces with E. I snuggle with the dog, listening to his soft snores. I sit by the light of our Christmas tree, melancholy and joy abundant in my heart. I smile.