Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Christmas

I wonder when it will be overrated to love these winter holidays. Clocks move slower, some see frost and snow and mythical tales and magical decorations are found in nearly every home. As elementary as my age might have been, I still remember the day I turned to my mother and said in my matter-of-fact way, "There is no Santa Claus, is there?" Like any good mother she looked disappointed that she had only one child left to fool (my brother is a direct consequence of everything I would not believe), but she was honest with me in the way she stumbled over an argument of why I shouldn't rush to any conclusions. That "matter-of-fact" tone has followed me through life. What I consider a straightforward explanation comes across as sharp-tongued to a few others. However, I've often found the only people to misinterpret the way I communicate are the thin-skinned. Unfortunately for these folk, my flaws are 22 years a work-in-progress, and will require an even slower reformation.

Even though I told my mother I did not believe in Santa Claus, I still rushed to bed with my little brother and cousins each Christmas Eve--that made-for-TV hope twinkling in my eye. I think that would have been the only appropriate time I would have accepted being wrong--and I took my pride seriously back then. I remember gazing at our tree each year. My mother was very traditional: a full tree with ruby, gold and white decorations. Our Christmas tree was a classic beauty, like Rosalind Russell. Sans the tinsel, our tree could have spotlighted in any black and white Christmas film, but the greyscale and resolution would never give it justice. Many years later, my then-stepmother decorated the tree more commonly with lots of colors and sillier ornaments. I did love its style, but I missed the tradition my mother's tree always had. I knew it was Christmas when I saw the garland and ribbon. I've had the pleasure of experiencing a plethora of Christmases--each one with its own flare. This Christmas is the first holiday I have spent, in years, in a new home, new town and with a new half of the family. The tree is not as fancy as my mother's but it is classically decorated with crimson and white ornaments. Several ornaments have pictures of us and decorations representing inside jokes we have had since we all moved in together. It may not be my mother's tree, but this tree represents us. It represents togetherness; it's what we've all needed this Christmas.

As for what Trey and I might do with our future Christmas tree, I know I want royal blue and silver as the theme; I want traditional with flare; I want classic beauty; I want the tree to be filled with impulsively bought ornaments representing our interests that we collect over the years. I want the tree to represent us. I want the holidays to be merry, happy, traditional, spiritual and full of love.

For us, for you.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

100 Words: Man's Best Friend

***The back-story and photos of Max can be found here.***

A best friend came home. I held him tightly and cried tears of joy—he is a sign of good things to come. This Christmas is already shaping into something wonderful, and then he came back, like a gift from God. You could see it in his beautiful face when he realized he was home, he was safe—that bright sparkle in his eye, bounding through the yard.

He is a best friend we missed dearly, but tried to forget by ourselves because time just wasn’t quick enough. His timing is impeccable and his place in my heart is permanent. Christmas is spectacular. I just hope this happiness lasts.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Cheer

It finally feels like that time of year: the jolly time of Christmas when sleigh bells are used as the down-beat of every song instead of synthesizers, when everything is decorated in red and green and when time moves along just a little slower so you can savor each moment. Last year, Christmas was impetuous and formulated. We went through the motions, hand-in-hand, in the most uninspired fashion--all the while, I wished he was near me so that someone was willing to spend it with me.

Now there is something more at peace with me. The holiday cheer is there and it's exciting. It has been cold the past few days, and I am wearing my warmest clothes. Some Christmas movie is playing, but I pay it no mind--it is the background noise to my own Christmas movie.

The tree has ornaments of what we like, pictures of all of us together and lights that brighten up the room. This is what I needed when I came home--I needed a home. It's nice to see all the presents under the tree; my dad gets excited and smiles because he can give us something this year. But I'm just happy to see him smile. I'm happy to have a reason to smile. I'm happy to know we're all happy. Home isn't much if there is no one there to greet you with a smile when you walk through the door. It's nice to have that this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Write me someday.

How many times can someone say good-bye before it stops hurting?

There was that one time I missed that last chance, but I never forgot to say good-bye to her before walking out the door to school. It may have been the last time I could kiss her on the cheek and say good-bye, but I was able. And I even sneaked in an "I love you, Mamma" before I left. That, at least, made me feel better about things--much later when the absence became unavoidably normal.

I've said good-bye several thousand times to my best friend; we've gone off to see new worlds separately and yet come back learning the same depressing and exciting things about life and the people in it. Consequently, it's made us permanently youthful, in our hope for the future, and equally cynical, in our hope for humanity. But I know each good-bye will not be the last--at least the hopeful youth in me still believes that can be so. I'll say hello again. But each final embrace does feel terribly present and final.

Each time I've held his hand for the "last time" has been harder. I hold on for dear life like I'll never see him again--like I'll never feel him again. We stare at each other for awhile, embrace for awhile and freeze time in that breathtaking way when everything around us is still--long enough for me to get my fill and he his. Eventually I find some peace, even if I miss him dearly; that sort of longing can stop time, too, I've found.

Every good-bye has been hard, and I've always been the worst at making them easier for other people. Tears form, and we both know it's over. All of our composure crumbles.

And there's you. I don't know how we fell into each other, but we did. We became close the minute I walked into that office, all the while knowing your time with me would be short. Still, I allowed myself to open up to you more than I had some. You got me. I may be crude and temperamental. I may be blunt and refuse to sugar-coat what I say. But I'd like to believe that you get why. And now you, too, are gone. I didn't want to look at you for fear that I might break, but I broke anyway. And then I held you, dear friend, and you too had tears in your eyes. I didn't expect to see you wipe away so many. I expected to fail at holding back mine, though. Your time is up here, and you're off to see more of the world and do great things. You have plans waiting for you elsewhere and dreams you have to fulfill.

I hope you're happy, and I hope you find love with someone or your writing or River Street. I hope you find friends (as if I have any doubts), and I hope you write me someday. I promise to write back, too.