I just sit and look at the small Christmas tree Clayton and Katie put up one Sunday when I was bringing Rachel back to school. I wasn't going to put one up this year. I was far from feeling festive, but Clayton said Rachel needed a tree, so he brought a small one over and put the lights on it. We put the decorations on it the next weekend when Rachel came home.
I know it needs to be taken down, but every time I try I start looking at the ornaments, thinking of where and when we got them. The birds I collect, the crystal, the ones that came from my mother and grandmother. A story behind each one. The one that holds my attention the most is a Daffy Duck dressed in a striped shirt with a whistle and a sign that says fowl. Rachel gave Gee that ornament so long ago....he loved it.
Christmas to him wasn't presents, it was dinner....with all the family and friends that we could get into the house. Rib roast and chicken, cabbage and collard greens, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, biscuits and rolls, my mothers fruit cup and grandpas shrimp cocktail, and pies and more pies. So much food seems almost sinful. Good food and good company what more could anyone ask for, he would say. Even last year when he was beginning to fail, we had Christmas.
I wonder what next year will bring. Will it bring with it a sense of comfort and stability that I truly don't feel now. Will it bring the laughter that followed Gee where ever he went. Will we ever see Christmas the same way again? No we wont, it will evolve into something different, something strangely familiar but so very different.