Beanery Online Literary Magazine

December 19, 2010

Christmas 1998—A Memory Embraced




Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.  Cicero


The following prompt was e-mailed to members and friends of the Beanery Writers Group, which meets in Latrobe, Pennsylvania:

 Recount your Yuletide memories, the sweet and yes, even the bitter. Laugh and cry as you reflect and think of the lessons learned from the good and not so good. Embrace those memories. Don’t run from them. For they all will serve you well.*


     What is wrong with me?  I, the one who is always early with the tree, the
lights, the Christmas cheer, cannot find any spirit this year. Strange, for it
is always me, who is first with the fun, and always the first person to say “hey, what’s wrong with you?  Get your tree up!”

     Always, by Thanksgiving, our family is well into the holiday season, for in truth, I was raised that it is a season, not just a day or week, to celebrate. 
     From my earliest childhood it was a season we celebrated, with dinners for
neighbors, walks in the snow, ice skating, and just spending time together. 
Somehow I think that has been lost upon the current generation of young people.
     It’s now December 13th. My mother is calling, again, to ask What is wrong
with me????  Why haven’t I put up the tree?
I promise her I will truly do it
today. Much to my surprise I actually do it. She is in Yuma, Arizona and I’m on Cape Cod, so she wouldn’t know it if I didn’t do it, but then—somehow she always knows everything!!
    The next morning I call her to tell her the tree is up and decorated. We
talk for about a half hour, general stuff, mostly about the holiday and what
her plans are. 

<— Fran’s Mom


     Later that evening I received a call that she had a gall bladder attack, and they were going to operate.  Not to worry: she had a longtime gall bladder surgeon, one of the best. He ran tests, told us she was fine to have the laproscopic surgery.  She came through it OK.

     But perhaps in hindsight, we should have had a (more…)