I am being haunted. Haunted by memories of Mom. When I go for my massage, I think of the many times that Mom and I went there for her haircuts and perms. Pier 1 was one of her favorite stores; thus whenever I cross the threshold into that store I think of her and I smile. Places and things cause memories to come flooding back. In my dreams, Mom and/or Dad are usually there and I fight to stay asleep so that I can spend time with them. I lie in bed at night and see the walls that Mom saw every night, and I listen to the stillness of our house knowing that Mom felt that stillness for hours day after day while I was at work and she was stuck at home. I remember her anger about this, but I know that it was best that she not be out driving on her own in the early stages. My greatest fear was that she would become confused and get lost. Or worse. This time is especially hard.
My Mom loved the holiday season. She would bake cut out sugar cookies and we would decorate them. She would make rock candy and we kids would cut the hot candy into pieces that we first rolled in powdered sugar. I remember the burned finger tips we all had from this, year after year. Mom would put the brightly colored candy into glass jars that she decorated and give them as presents to teachers, relatives and friends. She also would make candle holders using broken green and clear glass. Our house was decorated inside and out. Christmas mini lights were strung on our fir tree (which the neighbor kids ripped down every year) and my grandfather's ten dollars would be used to purchase a lovely Douglas fir tree at the local tree lot. Many times I went with Mom to pick out the tree. Later, when we moved to Minnesota, we would go as a family to a tree farm and cut our own tree, hauling it back to the car and bringing it home where it inevitably had to be cut smaller because we had overestimated the size of our living room. Each year we vowed that 'next year we'll pick a smaller tree' but of course we never did. Christmas Eve meant a candlelight service at church around midnight preceded by a party with friends. On Christmas morning we would be surprised by the gifts that Mom and Dad had purchased for us. My brother would search the house for weeks beforehand trying to find the unwrapped presents. At first he succeeded, but Mom was wise to his ways; she would hide his presents at the neighbor's.
May the memories of the holiday season fill you heart with peace and joy.
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