This may have been the last time I truly felt the Christmas spirit. Mommer visited, sick though she was, and Trooper and I made the most of it with hand-made stockings with glittered names...
In this I reveal more of myself than I might prefer. From the Christmas morning craptastic hair to the comfy clothes with the dreaded pudgy protuberances, and - indeed! - the pony slippers Trooper gave me (and which Ranger has since dispatched). But also there is the private joke shared, her crazy eye-squinting-giggle, and a moment captured that so fully evokes how we felt, together.
She was adamant that her cane be hidden behind her leg - no photos of her showing that weakness. And you can bet that she had bathed and managed to clean up, even if it took all her energy to do so. (The cancer was known, was in mild treatment, but she still knew much pain.)
This was before so many things...Trooper and I were still settling in to one another, I still had the option of children if not the urge, still the short hair and not the grey, and mom still laughed...it is, for me, a sort of Best/Worst holiday. It is a photo I cherish all year long but most especially at this time of year when I do miss her so fiercely. She loved the holidays. Even if none of us made it there, she would still cook enough, just in case, I suppose.
Maybe that is why I just can't bring myself to take out the decorations, to mail a card, or to wrap a gift...I haven't got it in me this year. I can sense her giving me her crooked finger waggle. And a "chuh".
So many years I wasn't there and now I'd give much for just one more...Next year, Mommer. I promise - I'll go all out next year, just for you...
Merry Christmas to all of you - no matter where you roam.