Monday, December 19, 2005

Remembrance and Contemplation

Sometimes introspection hits us in the most surprising of ways. I was flipping through some old photos tonight, when there they father's eyes staring back at me. I haven't seen a picture of my father since the day of his funeral. The picture was taken at my nephew's baptism - a seemingly happy occasion. But even then, I knew - there were so many things I wanted to tell him, to show him, to give him, but I knew then that we were on borrowed time.

My father was a concert pianist. From a very young age I sat beside him, entranced as his fingers magically danced across the keys swirling music all around us. Sadly, as he grew sicker, he played less and less, frustrated and embarrassed that his fingers had lost their dexterity, until a few notes during the holidays was all the music I could hope for. Last Christmas, after I'd said goodnight and climbed beneath the covers, I heard the last carols I'd ever hear him play. As I lay in the quiet, a few notes crept through the silence, and then a chord, then a few hesitant bars of "O' Holy Night" began. Ever a proud man, he'd waited to play until I wasn't watching his trembling fingers struggle to find the right keys. I crept out of bed and stood in the darkness and let his music fill my soul.

Of my father's possessions, there was only one thing I wanted after he passed away - his sheet music. From his notes in the margins to dog-eared corners turned down to mark his favorite songs, a treasured piece of him is forever embedded in those well-worn pages. This holiday season I am hopeful that someday soon we'll have a child to share our lives with. And tonight, as I gazed upon his picture, I knew - although they will never meet the way I would have liked, our child and my father will find a way to know each other through his music - as those pages turn, the beloved notes of Christmas carols past will weave indelible melodies into future dreams.

So, to all those who have lost something in their lives, whether it be a spouse, a parent, a lover, a dream - turn your face towards the stars, and let promise fall upon you this Christmas eve - after all, Santa's kind of known for dropping hope out of the sky.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Somewhere in between the holiday decorations in the mall and the sale advertisements and catalogs in the ever-teetering mail pile I let Christmas sneak up on me. Oh, it's been coming. In fact, it's been coming all year. But suddenly, it's HERE. Since I have to ship almost all of my family's Christmas gifts (and I don't want to pay more in postage than I spent on gifts), I have to shop early to get gifts into the post on time. Now, I know that some folks shop in January for the following year's holiday. But for me, early qualifies as anything purchased prior to Christmas Eve day at 4:00 p.m.

This predicament is not a new thing for me - I have to ship gifts every year. But somehow this Monday it struck me like lightning - if I don't shop/wrap/mail this week - the gifts might not be on time. And telling my nephew that Auntie was too lazy to come through in a timely manner just won't fly. So amongst all the other things I scheduled this week (because it never occurred to me that oh, yeah, my entire shopping list is needing to get done by TODAY), I frantically pounded it out. Thankfully, although my physical shell of a being had not moved past thinking about buying gifts to actually acquiring them, my brain had at least been considering what to buy. After a few minor crises (out of stock items/colors/do you think they'll like its?) the perfect gift was found for each person on my list, wrapped, and shipped out this afternoon. Tonight - I'll raise a glass of wine at Cyclo in celebration of completing all of my holiday shopping on time. Now if that Christmas tree would just decorate itself.....

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Perfect Model

I forgot to take a picture of my last finished object before it got mailed off to its beloved recipient. What a joy it was today to receive a picture of my nephew modeling his Marsan watch cap! This was such a fun pattern to knit - and the color matches his eyes perfectly!