Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Call

Hi, Mom. Merry Christmas!

It’s been great. The boys were up at 6AM- maybe before but we told them they could not wake us up until then.

Yes, they were very excited.

Santa was very good to them. Zachary was astounded he got the one and only present he asked for. What is it with that boy?

I know. He’s sweet.

I know. He’s going to be trouble.

Ben was actually very grateful for everything. I know. It was a nice change. Of course, Allan threatened him last night if he was whiny about something he would take it away.

Yes, I made cinnamon buns. Of course. Christmas can’t happen without them. No, they were not as good as yours.

They were better!

Well, Mom, you haven’t been in the kitchen for about a hundred years. Sorry. I make them better now. Perhaps a little underdone, though. I know. fifteen minutes. Not a minute less.

Dan sent me a gift to remember you by- a beautiful glass penguin. When did the penguin thing start? It was Dan, wasn’t it? Why do these fabulous gay men in our lives decide we need to collect something? Walter ended up giving me Victorian ink well. It was a fake one, of course. He told me to watch out, my blog can come back to bite me.

Hey! I'm collecting books. And the art you have left me... well, that is a huge start.

The blog? I know. As if I didn’t know that already. But, Mom? I have to. I just do. It's like Jeanine writing music. I know. Music is far more special. But it's all art... No, Mom, it is.

Tonight? Dinner will be with friends and their kids- twelve all together. Well, I invited one more person, and I hope she’ll come but… my guess is no. Someone who has had a harder year than me.

No, Mom, we’re not going to go there right now. It’s Christmas. She really did have a hard year. Me? Let's not argue.

The kids were stunned- I mean stunned- by Cathy’s gift to them. Pokemon cards. Ones she collected years ago. When they opened the binders, that was it, Christmas was over, they would not leave the books of cards.

You always give the perfect thing. The gifts from last year? They will cherish those forever. Beautiful, funky, Christmas decorations. When we were opening gifts today there was a huge absence for me. Where was Grandma’s gift?

I know. Nothing to be done. You’re dead. I can buy the gifts but only you had the sense of what was perfect.

Yes, Mom. I’m okay. I’m really going to be okay.

I know you didn’t think so but I am. It’s not easy, I mean, you are my mother. But something about losing Pearl made me feel sure about my goals. How my life should look. How it’s starting to. How important it is to continue the work for the next generation. The girls, my boys… what a treat it will be for them.

No, Mom. Not a burden. Not if we do it right. I know money was always a burden to you. We can do this, though. I know we can. All of us, together.

It’s been a great Christmas. But you know something? At about nine o’clock this morning, after breakfast? I missed you so much. It was time to make my call. Tell you what was happening so far. What was to come. How the table was set. What we were serving. I had to go upstairs and cry. Where was my mom? It was Christmas morning and where was my mom?

I could hear you tell me about your late dinner at the Ritz on Christmas Eve with Dan and Jimmy. How beautiful the lights were on Amelia Island. About sitting out on the porch, watching the shrimp boats.

We’d hang up- I had to go set the table, stir the stew and make sure Jeanine had all the tools to put together whatever needed to be put together.

There would be the next day to talk.

There are no more next days.

Yup. Gotta go. Seems that Jake has picked up Ben’s new Nintendo. I know. Serious trouble.

I love you, Mom. Merry Christmas.