Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas without Mom

Apparently, April McLean's mother passed away since last Christmas, and she has some reflections on the permanence of loss.

My mom died when I was 16. I lost my Grandma McCain when I was 19, my cousin Mark when I was 30, followed by my Grandma Kirby, then Uncle Ervin. My father died . . . wow, was it nine years ago already? And then my Aunt Barbara this past year.

In my memory, they still exist. I mean, I can still see them all now. I'm picturing many a Thanksgiving, playing Rook after dinner, and there is Grandma Kirby sitting right there, laughing as she makes her bid. And I still remember when Aunt Barbara gave me a crystal radio kit for Christmas, more than 40 years ago. And, of course, this time of year, I recall trips to Birmingham with Mom and Dad to see Alabama play football. (Always it was Legion Field when I was a kid; I never went to Tuscaloosa until I was grown.)

The fact that they are gone, permanently, is a heavy thought. Not exactly sad -- except maybe the sadness of abscence, which feels too much like self-pity for me to wallow in it -- just heavy. And then, of course, some day I will be just a memory in the minds of those who once knew me -- another heavy thought. Certainly, I'd never want anyone to be sad for me. Remembered and missed, but not in a sad way.

Ah, enjoy every day. Meditate on Ecclesiastes, if you need to get some spiritual perspective. But mainly, enjoy every day.

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