December 27, 2009

Christmas and the closing of another year...


Christmas has come and gone this year... Presents were handed out and a huge mess was made. The kids seemed pleased with their gifts and spirits were high. The food was plentiful and typical of southern homes... only extremely healthy dishes were served... and certainly eaten in moderate portions. We sat around tables and solved all the worlds more pressing issues and enjoyed each others company.

This was the second year without my dad, and his presence was certainly missed. I never even thought to watch the movie 'A Christmas Story' at all. Dad loved that movie and would fit flawlessly into the Darren McGavin roll of the father. My brother Michael transferred a few home movies over to dvd and we watched them before we ate. The sights and sounds of those that are no longer with us were difficult to experience at times, but seemed to bring a smile to everyone in the room.

My nephew Danny delivered the prayer before the meal and he, like each of us, was tearful when it came time to acknowledge the spiritual nature of the day and the need for family to be together. As he spoke his words my thoughts traveled back to past holidays. The sight of my grandparents, the heat of their small home filled with far too many people, the laughter of the children, the calls of "Close the door!" as we ran outside to throw firecrackers at each other. The simple cacophony of those moments filled with an amazing love... The memories flowed as freely as the emotion... Oddly, the one moment from the dvd that caused me to turn my back to the screen and walk away to get a drink, while masking the tears, wasn't the sight of so many people that are no longer with us, but the image of my aunt Reba's blue slaw bowl sitting on my grandparents table. Every holiday - Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July... that blue bowl was on that table... filled with the best slaw you could imagine. I wish I knew where it is...

The faces of all the people on the dvd we had watched floated before me as I sat and stared at the fire in the open wood heater... Ghosts of Christmas past indeed... They do have the ability to create a longing in ones soul....

This upcoming week brings the end of another year. I have been reading "year end" reviews of major new stories from several outlets, pop culture we all are familiar with. Being that I have pretty much ignored politics as of late and most everyone in the entertainment industry has died this past year, I have chosen not to go over the previous twelve months....

I just hope that 2010 is a better year for everyone. The simple truth of the matter is that it can be... all we each have to do is simply decide that it will be and act on that thought. The lesson of Fezziwig, taught to Ebenezer by the ghost of Christmas past, would serve each of us well. Ill will has no place in the human heart and I believe its time that we acknowledged that fact.

5 comments:

John Pender said...

That boy be holdin' my book there.

Junebug said...

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
I will be glad to close the books on 2009.I pray the year 2010 will be better for all of us.
Christmas is always better when we remember loved ones and time spent with them.

SteveYockey said...

給你一個鼓勵 ..................................................

boo said...

Merry Christmas, Old Man. I've missed you. Give my love to Jules and the boys!

Matt-Man said...

Well written Clay. Let's all have a great New Year and here's to your Aunt's slaw bowl. I love slaw. Cheers Clay!!