We have lived in this house since January 7, 2001 and it is the first year in all that time that we have had a Christmas tree. Some years we were away for the holidays, other years we were tied up in what I call complicated times. So it's with joy that I tell you we do have a tree this year ... small, at around 2 feet tall, but none-the-less a lovely little Frasier Fir, that holds some of our oldest and smallest decorations that go way back ... treasures we brought together when we married that hold sweet memories for each of us. On the top is the wise owl our tiny children chose to be the guardian of our lives.
We will be alone to celebrate Christmas this year but only in the sense that we will be the only two living people in the house. There will be echos of past holidays and the looking forward to future days ... the beginning of a new year ... and an upcoming visit to see our grandchildren.
We could have gone to see them for this holiday ... but this is the first Christmas since my mother died. I feel a need to just be here where I can be with my memories of her and sort through all of the feelings one encounters when one loses a loved one. It will be both sad and happy, bitter and sweet ... a time for healing and learning to feel comfortable with the changes that life is so full of.
We begin our holiday with a trip to New York City ... to see once again the city decked out in its holiday finery. I lived out on Long Island as a child. Each holiday season took us to "the city" to see the magical window displays at Macy's, to tell Santa what I'd like to find under the tree and to spend carefully saved nickles and quarters for something special to give to my mom
on Christmas day.
When we first planned this trip I had no idea how important it would be for me. I thought it would just be another trip to the big city to see a few shows. I'm discovering how much I need to do this ... to look back and look forward all at once, to see where I've been and to wander some possible avenues for the future.
I'll be back next weekend and hopefully will have some big city photos to share!