"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves." --Rainer Maria Rilke Photo (Photo ©julenisse/Fotolia)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How I Uncovered Long Forgotten Meaning In Our Family’s Christmas Traditions

As seen in Feminine Collective

simpleinsomnia Flickr via Compfight cc

I was 8 years old when I realized there was no Santa Claus. I’d lost the Snow White watch I’d received for Christmas—the one with the yellow leather band that came with a plastic figurine of my favorite Disney character. Sitting at breakfast some months later, I confessed the watch was missing.

“We paid good money for that watch,” my father said. His face wore “the look”—the one that made it clear he was disgusted with my carelessness.

“I thought Santa gave me the watch.” I was confused and my mother jumped in with a feeble attempt to preserve the myth.

“Well, who do you think sends Santa the money?” 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dementia: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

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My mother's boots were on the wrong feet.
The family was gathering at our house on Christmas Eve and my mom had yet to arrive. In the past year she'd begun showing up uncharacteristically late for things: Mother's Day brunch, dental appointments and, most recently, picking up her grandson from school.
It was snowing hard and she didn't answer her cell phone. I pictured her Mazda in a ditch -- much the same as I did when my teenager wasn't home by curfew.
My mother finally stumbled through the front door, stomping fresh snow from her feet, and I gave her a big hug of relief. But when she plopped down on the steps in the hall to pull off her puffy, black winter boots, my sister-in-law and I locked eyes in shared disbelief.