Sunday, January 3, 2010
Tomorrow we're taking down the Christmas tree and putting all the ornaments away for another year. Among the gifts I will pack up is a tiny empty box that gets a prominent spot under the tree or on the mantel every year. It's a three-inch red and white polka dotted cube, with a tag that reads "To Frankie, Love Mother" in my mother's hand. I don't remember what small gift it once held -- probably something mom picked up at a yard sale or an antique mall, or maybe a little jar of jam or something similar. I don't even know why I originally kept it. It probably just got packed up at some point with all of the gift bags and bows. But after mom died almost a decade ago, this bit of emphemera suddently became important. Each year, I have a gift from my mom under my tree. It makes me smile and it makes me sad, the blend of emotions we all have to get used to after we lose someone we loved.