Carl and Elise were interesting to watch, sharing with each other what they have done in the past and what they want to do in the future "We will never have a blue spruce", discussing a possible future. Carl especially wanted to talk about the story of many of the ornaments. Talk about past Christmases when they either did or didn't have a tree. The sense of Jennifer hanging over both S and C like a sad wistful cloud.
My own memories revolved around my children, some of their hand-made ornaments, and some I have collected in places I have been. I put out a few, left most in the box. I didn't have the sense that we are creating new memories for the future. Although memories are like that, they tend to be selective and as time passes the bad ones tend to fade, the good ones get better. Christmas is important in that it is a moment that marks a point in memory. If every day were the same, it would be difficult to differentiate one day from another. Holidays, weddings, vacations are times we pause and take those mental photographs, good or bad, of where are. We tuck those away in memory to bring out the next time..."Remember when we burned the roast? Remember when Aunt Mary got drunk?"
So my angst, my wondering if I belong here, my wondering if our love can withstand my hurt and anger, I suppose will all be woven into the fabric of the memory of this Christmas. The tears will fade and the happy moments will be remembered. The memory picture of the tree all lit up sitting there as a monument to human continuity, to our little rituals, to marking our brief time on earth. To connection in any form, to gratitude.