I’m not going to cry. For one day. No tears.
After thinking about Christmas and what it’s always meant—the family traditions and celebrating Christ’s birth—I decided maybe I could do a Christmas tree after all.
Trouble is I didn’t want to put up a big traditional tree so late. It’s a lot of work, and my energy level is unpredictable from one moment to the next.
I hefted one into my shopping cart, added a $2 strand of lights to the purchase, and headed home.
After finding something to place the tree on to give it more height, I went up into the attic and sorted through our ornaments. I carefully selected a few that held special meaning. An angel Josh bought me when he was about ten years old, little wooden ornaments my in-laws bought us when Lindsay was just a baby, some from Pigeon Forge that Lindsay had helped pick out when she was six, and a few others that would hang gently from the small branches of our Christmas tree.
I stood back and surveyed my work. My throat ached, and those dreaded tears threatened to spill. Then I thought about what Lindsay would say about my abstract, nontraditional, wacky-looking tree. My Charlie Brown tree. Although looking at it now, maybe it's one the Grinch or the Cat-in-the-Hat would've picked out. It's very Dr. Seuss-ish, wouldn't you say?
Even though she loved Cinderella as a child and still believed in fairy tales, Lindsay had grown to be a minimalist. I could hear her saying, “It’s perfect, Mom. I like it.”
Her laugh filled my mind, and I smiled.
And my pact?
Well, a few tears did fall, but they didn’t just reflect my sorrow.
I choose to celebrate the joy of my Savior’s birth and the joy of having a beautiful daughter, even if it was only for thirty-three years. I savor the memories of her child-like approach to Christmas each year and how, in the end, she chose to see joy in simple things.
Boy, do I miss her.
©Laura Hodges Poole