Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas

I am awash in a sea of memories, drifting on the gentle swells of Bing Crosby's voice from my White Christmas CD.

White Christmas. That was my dad's favorite Christmas song. When we were kids, he made us learn it in sign language and perform it at every family get together. I hated it then. I'd do it now on a stage in front of the whole entire world if it meant another Christmas with him. That probably makes more sense if you know my parents were deaf.

My mom liked the Christmas hymns best. I have memories of her sticking in a cassette tape and cranking it up, then signing the most beautiful versions of her favorite songs like "O, Holy Night" and "O, Little Town of Bethlehem," her graceful hands and arms tracing the most beautiful Christmas stories in the air, for no one's benefit but her own because she loved those songs so much.

This will be my second Christmas without my parents. My second Christmas that my dad doesn't stuff a grip of batteries on top of the orange my mom always put in the toe of our stockings. The second year that we don't pull out our nice Christmas dishes and spend the afternoon in the kitchen making a turkey gumbo as a family. The second year we don't all squish onto their bed together and watch hours of movies.

I thought it would be easier than last year.

It's not.

But there are consolations, like the ongoing territory war baby G and I are having over the Christmas tree that reduces me to giggles several times a day. Or the stacks of holiday cooking magazines, beckoning me to turn out plate after tin of Christmas baking goodnesss. Or the parties full of friends and laughter.

Missing my mom and dad won't go on forever. If I play my cards right, only the good stuff will go on forever, in its truest sense.

I, Melanie, having been born of goodly parents....

I think they taught me well. I hope they feel like they did. Because I'm counting on forever with them.

18 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Oh, Melanie, I'm sorry you don't have your parents here with you. I;'m sure they are very proud of you. This was a beautiful post.

Debbie said...

What a wonderful post and tribute to your parents. The love you have for them is so apparent. I am sorry you are hurting. Sweet thoughts coming your way.

Mina said...

What beautiful images. Thank you for sharing that. I am sorry it's tough without them. But I think it would be infinitely sadder if it wasn't.

White Christmas is my favorite Christmas Movie and Christmas Album. This year I will be thinking of you when I play either.

Annette Lyon said...

And here I'm whining because this will be the fourth Christmas without my parents--who are still living. They'll be back next year.

But it's a good reminder that they're mortal and won't be here forever. My dad's looking so much like I remember my grandma looking, and it makes me sad to realize that yes, he's getting older and someday won't be here to sing along with Bing.

LisAway said...

Beautiful, Melanie. Just lovely.

Shellie said...

you can either make me cry or laugh. Can I give you an eHug?


{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Ah, that's sweet. And sad. I think you WILL miss them forever. That's the price we pay for love (and memories) Memories never go away. (especially when you open a bottle of Rubber Cement).

Becky said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm sorry that this time of year is difficult for you.

Melanie J said...

Thank you, Becky. But it's actually my favorite time of year, so I'm not sad. There are so many fun things going on right now and I love the spirit of Christ I feel this time of year so strongly. It just so happens that it's also the time I miss my parents most, but that's life, so I'm trying to embrace the sorrow with the joy. Merry Christmas!

Linda said...

Very Sweet. I miss them too. Do you remember the juicer they bought me?
Did you mention another reason it may be your fav time of the year, Miss Christmas birthday gal?

myimaginaryblog said...

I was going to say what CTD said. My mom lost her younger brother right before I was born (he died in a car crash while on his mission) and although she thinks of him far less often these days, she still gets emotional when she does talk about him.

I hope you'll have a sweet Christmas along with the grief.

Heather of the EO said...

I love you're sweet memories of them. This is just a lovely post.

Stephanie and Co. said...

I'm sorry you don't get to celebrate with them. What lovely memories.

Kimberly said...

Ah Bing...what memories you evoke...

That was simply beautiful, Melanie. It made me feel all warm and smiley and yet somehow sad at the same time.

Eowyn said...

Not sure how to respond to this. I still have my parents, but this post made me remember something that is more and more obvious these days. They won't be here forever.

I'm counting on eternity too.

Alison Wonderland said...

Isn't it fun to have a real reason to believe that you won't be missing them forever.

charrette said...

Sweet post. This will be my 16th Christmas without my mom. And I don't think it really got easier until about 10. I still get wistful. But I love your last line: Counting on forever. That if for reals.

Nicole said...

That's really sweet, Mel. Thanks for sharing.
I've been there for your family's gumbo and it's yum! My mom did an orange in our stocking too... was it a Whelan thing? Glad you have your 3 boys and friends and family. Love you!