This is my first Christmas without my sister. Ever. Her lack of presence is a punch in the stomach to this family, at the same time we are determined to persevere.
Mom and I "lunched" with Tim yesterday. Yes, we lunched with him, a fancy-ass way of saying we got off work at noon and met at the same Mexican place we always meet at for lunch for the past 10 years.
While we were lunching, we reminisced about Christmas-es past:
When the kids were small, Teri & Tim had a Christmas eve tradition of visiting Candlestick Lane, our local "festival of lights."Lunching we were, and laughing and laughing, while Tim told me about the kids whining about their forgetful Mom, and his thinking "she's putting out your gifts, you little brats!"
Tim regaled us with stories of backing out of the driveway each Christmas eve, and Teri, taking one for the team, exclaiming, "Oh no! I forgot my _________"!! Tim would declare, "Dang it, Teri!!" and stop the car and let her race back in.
The kids, excited to see the lights, would join in on the eye-rolling at her forgetfulness, while she raced around placing Santa's gifts in approximately the same amount of time it would take her to find whatever it was she claimed to have forgotten.
She'd return to the car, and they'd be off to dim their lights on Candlestick Lane. Each year, when they returned, there would be a major discussion about getting right to bed—right now, right away!—before Santa arrived, followed by the inevitable, "Oh My God, we missed him! I can't believe he came while we were gone!!!"
We fell apart in laughter, and then stopped for a second.
He picked up his napkin, still laughing, and said "I just made myself sad." He covered his face with his napkin, and we sat, for a second, silently laughing, silenty crying, and silently regaining our composure.
It was a moment. I'm sure she'd told me about their Christmases, while I was busy recording, mentally, my own memories of Brian, dancing around the house in the hat that Santa lost on OUR porch, continuing on, of course, hatless, to all of the other children's houses.
At any rate, I'd forgotten theirs, and I loved hearing about it.
I'm going to try to place up 5 more Christmas memories in the next 5 days. Get ready for Christmas syrup, I'm going to pour it on, and I invite you to join me.
Put your Christmas memories in the comments, or blog them and I'll link to yours.