Saturday, December 19, 2009

the whole truth

In 1988 I moved back and forth from my hometown in Idaho for the last time. Dave, our two elementary aged girls and I were moving to Pennsylvania. Our journey would take us on to Chicago and Minnesota, but I never went back to Idaho except for the two funerals of my parents. Despite the years of neglect and abuse in my childhood a quasi-relationship existed with my parents, no spoken apologies on their part and a lot of therapy still to do on my part to live a healthy 'rest of my life.'
In the early hours on the morning we were leaving, my mom and dad were waiting for us when we arrived at the airport to catch our flight. This in itself was an omen because they had to drive the 50 miles in the pre-dawn to see us off. My dad was teary eyed and my mom smoked a lot while we waited. Then she put out her cigarette, reached in her pocket and pulled out a crumpled piece of tissue paper. Unwrapped I found three Christmas ornaments from my childhood in the 1950's. They were my favorites; ones I helped put on that special place on the tree each year and she wanted me to have them. A peace offering?
Only two remain thanks to what seems like endless moving in my life. Knowing that the holidays rearrange our feelings of nostalgia and longing for those weeks in December every year, I still can't help smiling when I find these in the decoration boxes. This year they seem especially dear to me, enough to have their own photo taken. Can you see me in the one where some of the color has rubbed off? A metaphor for the sweetness of life?

The truth is that life is delicious, horrible, charming,
frightful, sweet, bitter, and that is everything.
Anatole France


Snap said...

Lovely, heart felt post, Noni. Yes. That is life -- in total.

I have some of those wonderful old ornaments that I cherish ... mostly in my memory as I don't take them out the box... not with two cats that love to climb the trees! Only the *new* plastic, crash resistant ornaments now.


Marianne said...

The whole truth, that is what makes it life.
Feel that? That would be me hugging you, and wishing you Merry and Bright.

Julie Schuler said...

A very good post, especially at this time of year, when everyone is so bent on turning reality into a perfect illusion. Always to be disappointed. If there is perfection, it is in the dents and scrapes and scars.

i beati said...

It's truly amazing to me how a holiday can bring so much pathos to us all-- my husband died at CHristmas as did my friend-my animals departed this year and intermingled in those sharp painful places are the memories of warmth on as hoestring and caring through the years.We are truly slaves to our psyche.for good and