What do you see in this picture? Two people in love? Some pretty odd Christmas stockings? A groovy fireplace mantle? A time when people dressed for Christmas Eve…and did it really really well? A still from Mad Men?
I see my parents…my parents in their “picture pose”, him in profile (showing off his “good nose” according to my mom), and her looking right into the camera (because she did not want to highlight her Armenian nose). My dad completely adoring my mom. He did that. He was the swooniest swooner when it came to her. Every human should feel that loved.
My dad died early Christmas Day, before sunrise, before presents, probably as Santa was doing his rounds. It was long ago. When your dad has died…long ago does not mean it has stopped burning. It does not mean you miss less, it just means you don’t miss every second, or even every day, but you still miss…and memories can make you crash, or cry, or both.
This is the season of family, of big meals, of gathering…all the things my father loved most. It is the time when Oh Holy Night can bring me to tears. The season of finding it hard to breathe as Silent Night is played at the candlelight service…as the candle flame is passed I think of my dad who was not really a church goer, but who loved the candlelight service…watching his wife sing, surrounded by his family, he would say “now that’s pretty” as the church lit up in the glow of the candles. The very same comment… every…single…year. Memories.
Wishing you all the best holiday you can muster in these crazy times. Hoping you can swoon over someone, your partner, your kids, a relative, a friend, a stranger who needs you. I realize that being adored is probably everybody’s dream…but I think my dad had it right. He got so much joy from being the swooner.