Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Toast

We pulled out our Christmas stuff today and put up the tree. Jilda always waxes nostalgic each year as we begin to unbox the old ornaments, hangy things for the tree, angels, Nativity scenes, Santa Clauses, candle holders and other December stuff. "Skip and John gave us this candy dish for our fifth anniversary" she said. "My mother and daddy gave us this angel when we lived in the trailer." I looked at her as if she was speaking Yiddish. I couldn't believe she remembered this stuff. So I pointed to a fuzzy Santa and said who gave us that? "Nancy's mom made that for us the year before she died." Where did this Christmas stocking come from. "You bought that for me the year we moved into this house," she said as if I had forgotten our anniversary.
I feel like I pay close attention most of the time, but some times I miss the boat entirely. How could I not know where all these beautiful things came from? It's a mystery to me.
Putting up the tree is usually a fun light hearted thing, but this year it was harder than in years past. Jilda would pick up ornaments and big tears would come to her eyes. I correctly guessed that her mom had given them to us.
As I've said before, her mom died in November 2005 and Jilda was still in mourning so the holiday's last year were a blurr....but this year, it is sinking in that we will never celebrate a holiday at her house or have another bite of her chicken dressing.
She and her mom were very close. Ruby did not drive so if she went anywhere, Jilda drove her (for the most part).
So this year the holidays have been a little sad but we got all the stuff hung on the tree and we sat on the love seat for a long while looking at the tree with the lights off....both of us lost in our thoughts.
Later tonight we will watch old Christmas movies (another tradition), have some egg nog and drink a toast to a mother we love and miss.

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