Funny how my Christmas wish is still rolling around in my brain, unearthing memories of time gone by. Maybe it’s just a case of nostalgia with a bit of sadness and longing thrown in. One thing that came to mind was a saying I found ages ago, on a sympathy card. It had a beautiful photo of a single rose and inside it said “God gave us memory that we might have roses in December”.
Growing up in the Midwest where one got an honest to goodness winter, one’s roses were hibernating in the yard, covered by styrofoam cones and snow. I think that’s part of the reason why I liked the saying so much. That and the fact that we have the grace of memories of people and places that meant so much to us even when they’re gone. I sent that card by the way, but never forgot the words.
Now that I live in California, we have roses in December, in fact they love the winter time and produce some of the best blooms vs. summer. But I still like the saying. I’m grateful to have the memories when I think of my family who left the earth a while back.
And I really do want to do the things in Robert Fulghum’s saying in the Dec. 25th post. For just an hour this Christmas I want to sit on my Dad’s lap one more time, and hear for the hundred and nineteenth time his wonderful stories of working in South America during revolutions. I want to hug and kiss my Mom and see my Aunt M. stirring the Christmas gravy on the stove. I want to see my Great Grandmother sitting in her wing chair knitting with her white hair up in a braid on top of her head, held in place with u-shaped pins and hairnet. I want to hear their voices silent now for twelve plus years.
“Sharing tales of those we’ve lost is how we keep from really losing them.”
I want to stand on 91st Street looking up at the huge snow-covered archway of elms in the parkway. I want to see the wet snow clinging to their black silhouettes as my friend and I walked to midnight mass. Just one more time.
“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have a feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.”
But if I could go back would I ever want to return to the present? There’s a certain beauty in how our minds work. As events and people pass into memory, for the most part, only the good parts get saved. The problems, sorrows and worries, all that little stuff, slowly fade and we’re left with comforting memories to take down from the shelf whenever needed.
“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez