By Dorothy Denne
I love December. It is a teary time of year for me. They aren’t real sad tears nor are they happy tears. They are just feeling tears.
As I open Christmas cards and pictures fall out, I get surprises. Kids grow. Adults wrinkle and grey.
I miss family and friends who are miles away. Memories flow. Most are pleasant. We tend to forget the sad and painful. When we do remember, even those soften as they are surrounded by love.
I hear from the 85 year old cousin who cares for his Alzheimer stricken spouse. I remember them as a life-loving couple. I sat at their dinner table and didn’t know we were eating “creamed kidney beans” because we were poor. I thought we were eating them because they were good.
I receive a note from a schoolmate who bore a severely retarded child. Doctors told my friend her child must be institutionalized. My friend said she could not do it. Today the child is an adult, living on her own, working and contributing to society.
Yet another friend, made later in life, who can only be described as a nut. When I planned to wash my windows she said, “Pull the d#*n drapes and let’s go to the beach.” I did. Our friendship has survived. We are many freeways apart but a visit two or three times a year is special. Christmas cards show our love.
A note comes from the daughter of another elementary-through-high-school friend. She wants to let me know I will not be hearing from my friend this year. She has succumbed to a long battle with ovarian cancer. Oh the fun we shared in our youth and the feelings our letters shared over the years. She went first but I will remember her until we once again join.
Another cousin writes. The third grandchild has arrived. She has red hair and fat cheeks. My cousin is reminded of me.
So, I shed my tears. They are tears of sadness. They are tears of joy. They are Christmas tears.