Thorin and I remember; or, the case of the curious Christmas

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A screencap I snaffled from Fernanda Matias on FB. My edit. Thorin about to enter Erebor and be flooded with memories . . .

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So do I, Thorin. Remember, that is. I never lived in a splendid hall inside a mountain as a majestic prince of the realm, but I do remember life as it used to be. As I used to be, before so much loss–family members, pets, good health, a regular paycheck, a certain child-like whimsy that Benny really enjoyed. It sometimes eludes me now. Is it inevitable that we lose some of that as we become older and suffer those slings and arrows of outrageous fortune of which Shakespeare wrote?

~~~

What were you like, Thorin, in those earlier, more carefree days, before the sickness came, and the dragon, and so much death and destruction and loss in your life, I wonder? Even with the responsibilities of a dwarf prince on your shoulders, did you smile that glorious smile more often, and laugh heartily? Did you dance and sing? Did you ever flirt with some pretty young dwarf and fall in love at least a little? I like to think you did. I want to think you had those memories, even as painful as they might have been at times, to hold tight to.

~~~

I remember what a true holiday elf I once was, creating my own Christmas cards or, at the least, embellishing the envelopes with original drawings; making goodies and taking them to friends, often wearing my “elf shoes” (red suede Reeboks with glittery green laces and golden jingle bells) and Santa cap (assuming it wasn’t 80 degrees–ah, December in Alabama!)

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I remember taking my mom to holiday bazaars and Christmas parades in Greenville and Georgiana for as long as she was able to go, and driving around with my sweet mother-in-law to see the Christmas lights after dark. Sneaking into the old farmhouse to deposit treats in the stockings I bought for my folks that hung over the living room fireplace . . . good memories.

~~~

It has been a most curious holiday season for us this year. No presents for one another. No Christmas tree or decorations, save for the Santa sleigh I had hanging on the front door. Scarlett Kitty is still too young and rambunctious to attempt a tree, assuming I had felt like putting up and decorating one. Most days I just didn’t.  I have looked at my friends’ posts on FB and felt more than a twinge of envy, even as I took pleasure in the beautiful faces of their kids and grandkids and nieces and nephews as they posed in their new Christmas PJs or showed off that new toy or game they’d been pining for. The whole family posing for photos . . .

The last family Christmas together before my father was felled by a major stroke.

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My brother-in-law had a stroke this year, not, thank heavens, a major one. Serious enough, however, to cause a lot of mental confusion at times and great worry over the state of his health, which led to one ER and doctor visit after another. He kept awakening in the wee hours complaining of various aches and pains, anxious and fretful.

For my sis, it brought back painful memories of what we endured with our parents.It’s taken a terrible toll on my sister, although she wouldn’t complain to you. My BIL recently had a number of tests done and they have ruled out a reoccurrence of his cancer and any bacterial infections. Tomorrow–or should I say, later today–they will find out the results of the other tests. I so wish I could be with my sister for moral support, to give her a big, long hug.  That’s her in the middle, with the sweet smile. An angel, that one.

~~~

No family Christmas together for us this year, so no family group photos. But my sweet niece–the cute blonde in the middle of the top photo, which was their Christmas card photo–posted these pix on FB.

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BeFunky_thegirls.png I can’t believe how those girls of hers are growing up. I send them virtual hugs and hope for next Christmas.

~~

If our homes are where our hearts are, has your home always been back in Erebor, Thorin? Is my home in the past irretrievable, because there is no key that can open that door and return it to me? I hold on to my memories of being younger, stronger, thinner, prettier, an earner, a right old “Who” at Christmas who could afford to buy presents for her family members without selling her jewelry to do it, who still had all her family members alive and well, whose brain and body didn’t keep betraying her . . .

~~~

I suppose I want the Christmases of old just as I want the Angie of old. But I also know I can’t go back, I can only try to go forward as the person I am now, for better or for worse.  Like you, Thorin, I have my quest before me.  I know not what 2014 will bring, but I wish to face it with loyalty to my husband, family and friends, honor and a willing heart. You taught me that.

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About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

14 responses »

  1. I’m wishing and hoping that 2014 will be better for all of us–this has been a tough year for many reasons and I’m not sorry to see it waft off into the mists. Happy New Year and better times to everyone!

  2. Here’s to a great 2014, Angie. I hope you had a few nice days with your family – they look like a lovely bunch of people – and the little ‘uns made you smile and remember fondly your own good times around this time of year.

  3. Big hugs, Angie.

    It was (unsurprisingly) the strangest Christmas ever here, too. I remember two particularly bad ones from the mid-1980s that this one competes with. This one was more empty than those, which were directly painful. That, and we successfully gave away I don’t even know how much stuff. Not that there isn’t plenty more to be given away. Some odd things have been said. And I wonder what will happen next.

    • Back atcha, Serv. XXOO I have been thinking about you during this holiday season. The first one after you’ve lost a parent is particularly tough, we’ve found. And giving things away is good and necessary (and I have done some of that but still have so much between this house and what we have stored of our parents/in-laws at the farmhouse). But it’s also painful in the sense you feel as if you are letting go yet again of someone you love. I could not face clearing out my mother’s room at the assisted living facility, but thank goodness my sisters came to the rescue there.

      I know it’s been difficult for you.

      I will keep you in my prayers and ask you to do the same for us. Was hoping to hear back from my sister about the additional tests BIL had but no word yet, and I am hesitant to call in case he is resting. This has all been so hard on her and I worry about her and feel frustrated I can’t do more. At least her stepdaughter has been there to drive them (Sara can’t due to her vision) but she also tends to treat my sister like a maid, so—-:-/

  4. Thinking of you Angie during the holidays. I now am looking to 2014 to be a better year or that is my hope. Christmas was just plain odd at our house, but I always look to the next one to be better and I hope that for next year.

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