Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Past


Christmas is usually a time of happiness, cheer, joyful and triumphant, and so on and so forth.  Usually.  One Christmas...12 years ago...not so happy.  Not so cheerful.  There was no joy.  Bear with me.  This is a memory that I have every year...I have no idea why I feel the need to share it.  Maybe to make myself a little more "human" in the eyes of my loyal readers.  Three days before Christmas, it is not the stereotypical feel good blog post that you would expect to read.  Then again, I'm not always very stereotypical either.    


This little angel sits atop of my little Christmas tree.  Every year she is the first ornament I take out.  She will also be the final ornament to be put away.  She has two neighboring crystal angel "sisters" that hang next to her.  But she has the priviledge of being the first and the last.

I purchased her to hang on the tree in 1998.  It was something that I needed to do that year.  I needed the perfect angel to hang on my tree to remember the perfect baby that I had just lost in November.  Not that I could ever forget.  More of a memorial I guess.

Each year, I cradle the little box in my hand.  Knowing she's inside.  Anxious to see her, hold her...just...remember.  Only for a moment.  Then she takes her place at the top of the tree - her place of honor, if you will.

That first year she was in our house, was not such a loving moment.  I distinctly remember that Christmas past.  A memory I'm not proud of.  But always a memory, every Christmas, that creeps back in.  I was home alone, putting up and decorating our Christmas tree.  (some things never change!)  The tree was up in the corner.  The lights were strung, and it was time for that first ornament.  I got out the step-ladder to reach the top of the tall tree that we had at the time and reached up to gently...carefully...place her near the top.

She hung there beautifully.  My angel.  And then the emotions just hit me....hard.  They say that there are stages of grief.  Safe to say, at that moment - I hit the anger stage in my grief.

I didn't want to have a memorial angel ornament, I wanted to feel my baby growing inside of me.  This wasn't fair!!  I reached over, grabbed ahold of that center stem inside our tree and I pushed...hard.   I think if I could've flung the 7 ft tree across the room I honestly would have.  Instead I just pushed.  And it toppled over, lights and all.   I think there may have been a scream that escaped from my throat as well.

I stood there on my little step-stool and I cried.  I'm sure had anyone seen what had just transpired, they would've thought me a bit nuts.  But just as quickly as the rage had hit me...it passed.  I took a deep breath, and got to work getting this tree back up in the corner.  Hung all of the ornaments, and took a step back to admire my work.

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This year, my little princess was very much in "helping mode" when I was decorating our little tree, wanting to help with lights and yes, the ornaments.   I opened the ornament box, and there she was...right on top, ready for her place of honor.  My angel.

No princess.  Mommy gets to hang this one first.

"Why?"

Because it's very special to mommy and I always hang this angel on the tree first.

"Why is it so special?"

Someday mommy will tell you that story, princess.  Someday.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do the same with my grandmother's ornament. When she passed away my aunt invited us over and asked us to choose one. She is right on the top off the tree.