When I was a very little girl, we used to visit Santa every year at a local department store called Muirhead’s. My memories are wispy at this point in my life, but I remember feeling I had entered a magical world. It was designed to look like a giant igloo, with all sorts of wonderful decorations. Each family that made the trek to Muirhead’s climbed into a sleigh that ran on a track inside the store with its ultimate destination being Santa himself.
It was simply wonderful. My mother gave me these photos and I had them matted and framed. The other day, I pulled them out and brought them down to the den and when I saw the photo you see at the top of the post, I had to quickly look away. For a moment, it was too painful. There are my mother and brother in the back seat of the sleigh. Now, both of them are gone.
David has been gone since 1991. My mother died this year.
Such a simpler time.
My mother was so beautiful. As was my brother. I want to reach inside these photos and hug them. I want to tell them how much I treasure the memories of our visits to Santa, of our Christmases spent together, of loving and being loved by them.
This will be a bittersweet Christmas for me and my family. It’s always there for me, right under the surface, this knowledge that Mom is gone, that this will be the first Christmas in my life without her presence here on Earth. Just as my birthday last month was my first birthday without her.
This morning I was given a gift.
I had a visit from my mom. I know that as surely as I’m sitting here right now tapping away on this keyboard. I won’t go into details because they are private and precious and I’m holding them deep within my heart.
I’m so grateful. Thank you, dearest, most wonderful Mom. Thank you for everything. Thank you for being my mom and my friend and my guide. I miss you every moment of every day. I look in the mirror and see your face reflected in mine. You are never far away, that I know.