This holiday season looks very different from years past. However, in the crevices of my mind, I can reignite my own memories of Christmases past. All these memories are in focus and predominantly involve my mom. She epitomized the proverb of “it’s better to give than to receive.” She always searched for the perfect gift, even when the temperatures suggested a day on the beach to be more appealing. She truly shopped all year long, always thinking of her family.
We would converge upon my aunt and uncle’s home in Virginia Beach Christmas Day, no matter whether 10 inches of snow had fallen the evening before or not ~ she was going to be there! My mom would orchestrate the giving of gifts while the rest of the family sat in awe watching and listening to the story about how she acquired the gift or why. Even though she stood 5’2 and weighed a mere 100 pounds, she was larger than Saint Nick in my young eyes.
That last Christmas Day in 2003 was different. She was a shell of her old self looking at me with pleading eyes to grab her the always over-cooked beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Untouched and cold, the food sat on the table. She once again turned to me begging me to take the torch being passed down to take over. As a statement, she removed her wig as if to say “I’m not going to beat this thing ~ we need to face it.”
I will never be able to replace my mom and her confidence in commanding a room at Christmas but I can certainly try to carry the torch.