Mom and Dad,
It’s finally passed, Christmas. Another year in the bag. And yes, I am intentionally using the hunting metaphor. I know how much you both loved hunting. I really killed this one, and it wasn’t pretty.
The house didn’t get decorated, the upside—no take down, nothing to put away or pack up. The downside—no twinkle and sparkles, late night quiet staring at the tree and all the hope it brings. We didn’t do sibling christmas, first time in quite a while.
Des did get a tree dad, best charlie brown tree I’ve ever seen. It was barely holding its needles, and could only hold about 1/4 of the ornaments you normally put up. You would have loved it. It was sweet and beautiful, and of all the days this holiday weekend—these were the best, Christmas eve through Christmas morning, staying with Des and being close to you. We made your caramel rolls, and while they weren’t yours, they were pretty good for our first try. I brought the camera, thinking I would take a bunch of pictures, but somehow it all seemed too special, calm and magical to be contained in a frame.
Mom, do you remember what it was like right after you left? Well, 11+ years later not much has changed. We are still your kids, all of the good and well, not so good. I miss you more than ever this year. I remember when I was a little girl, you used to run your long painted fingernails through my hair when I was upset, or just before bed at night. You would count my freckles and tell me how smart and beautiful I was. And that you would always love me. Shit, I could really use that. Sweetie sometimes rubs my head like that and it makes me wonder if you somehow whisper in her ear. You would love her. She loves me and cares for me like I think you had always hoped for.
Though it was not the easiest of weekends I am astonished by the good friends and family that surround me and love me despite (or perhaps because of) the mess I am. Des and Sweeties family were so generous. Friends with texts binging all day long. A friend—Shelley—gave Sweetie and I a gift, a sweet little norfolk pine. Someone gave one to her after her mom died, and she paid the idea forward for us. It’s adorable, and we named him Phil.