Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas memory for Real Toads

Over at the online writers' group, Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Peggy has asked members and contributors to write about a Christmas memory, either from our own point of view, or from a different point of view—perhaps a child's or a pet's.
Public domain photo
Yesterday, I told Peggy I thought I might try to write from the point of view of a wonderful dog my parents and young brother once had. A cross between the Ortega kids' Mexican mongrel, and Nana Ortega's black poodle, our dear Chiquita was smart and funny, loved Christmas, and always knew which gift on the tree was hers, no matter how many layers of giftwrap Mom used.
I was very busy yesterday, and am feeling under the weather today (although I must admit it is sunny, blue-sky weather above the snow) and I couldn't quite imagine myself as Chiquita, so I opened a page on my word-processing program and decided to see what happened.
And so...what did happen turned out to be a true story about the first year Mom, Dad and our much-younger brother Rob weren't home in Canada for Christmas, when what happened then was a surprise to us all.

Mom and Dad had
their retirement planned
before Mother had
our young brother.
when people asked
“now what will you do?”
they said “he’ll come along,
 he’ll like travel, too”
and, yes, he was two
the first time they went
and they all fell in love
with the Baja,
and soon the year came
when they left in September
when it wasn’t the same
for us in December.
we all sat around
and some of us frowned
“what happens now?
 we just don’t know how
 to celebrate Christmas
 without them”
our grandparents tried
to cheerfully hide
missing Mom, Dad and Robbie.
but Nanny cried
and yes, so did I
and my sister
(who’d never admit it).
my brother Clint’s wife
said “what a strange life!”
we agreed she was right
and we nodded,
until someone thought
we should all put our thoughts
on a tape 
to send down
to the Baja.
“Merry Christmas, Mom!”
“Happy New Year, Dad!”
“was Santa good to you, Robbie?”
and we started smiling,
then laughing—
we could love them as much
when they weren’t with us
as we did when they were among us.
Kay Davies, December, 2013


Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a lovely story, Kay. I am impressed with your parents' take Robbie along attitude. I'm sure he is the richer for his experiences.

Mama Zen said...

This is really sweet, Kay! Hope that you're feeling a bit better.

Peggy said...

I so enjoyed this memory Kay--even if it was not through the mind of a dog! (Hope you are feeling better). This story reminded me or the tape my uncle organized for use to be made at the holiday gathering of our families the first year we were married and living in the Netherlands. ( the big family gathering was at home in California) It was so wonderful for us to receive this. We found this tape recently and transferred it to a CD and have recently enjoyed hearing all those voices from the past again!

Carola Bartz said...

Lovely story, Kay. Certainly a different Christmas, but what a nice end your story has.

Susan said...

What a sadness until you found a way to enjoy it. Groups can do things like that,make an absence into something special.

Susie Clevenger said...

What a lovely story. When my husband, girls and I moved away from family were were only able to spend one Christmas with Christmas in over thirty years...bu as you said we loved them just as much even though we couldn't be with them.

Sumana Roy said...

a lovely memory to be shared with.....i like the way happiness graces all at
the end....

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Wonderful; similar thing happened in our family, given the global span of it...then along came the internet. A definite boon, even when it is driving us nuts!! Hope you are feeling ready for the holidays!!! YAM xx

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I hope you'll be feeling better soon.