With my daughter coming in a few hours for us to celebrate her Christmas with me and birthday, I began thinking about my mom… (probably because I have never in my entire life gone a Christmas without being near her)
My mom and I had been living in a run-down shack in Florida for almost three years. Each winter day was a cookie cutter of the summer before just with less humidity. I was tired of shorts and bathing suits and was missing the weather and my family in Ohio (crazy right?) I was fifteen that Christmas, feeling the beginnings of my future mood problems and had spent days fighting with my mother over subjects that didn’t matter hours later but the air held tension and cross words. I woke up and took my time getting to the living room, it wasn’t like I had anyone to race to the tree. My eyes scanned my surroundings and I think they almost bugged out of my head. A white Christmas? In southwest Florida? Okay, it wasn’t snow and later that day it went into the 70’s I think, but there clearly on the green grass was a thick, white frost. It was the most beautiful thing I could have ever gotten for Christmas.
Another brief memory so my mom doesn’t come out looking so bad.
I was probably between ten and twelve years old because when this happened my brother still hadn’t graduated high school. In our home we didn’t ask Santa for big expensive items because we knew the reality. My mom was working two jobs, my brother was always holed up with his computer or homework working on his Valedictorian-ship, and I was basically left in charge of the house. We knew to expect not a big Christmas. Surprise. My mom said we always acted so great at Christmas, not spoiled or crying and complaining over what we hadn’t gotten, so the year before as soon as Christmas passed she had opened a Christmas savings account at the local bank. I can’t remember everything that we got that Christmas, the presents don’t always matter, but I remember one. My mother was the beginning and the reason I started writing. Long before computers I would scratch my way through one notebook after another. I even competed for a while. But this year my mom got me a word processor. No, it doesn’t seem like much, but this was in the days that my printer paper had holes on the side and my monitor was black with green letters. This little electronic word processor not only gave me an opportunity to write more efficiently, but also told me that my mother had been watching and understood me. What more could a kid ask for. Merry Christmas mom, I love you.