Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Unexpected Emotions

Tis the season to be jolly; that's what they say. Jolly is not the word that I would necessarily choose to describe the good feelings that I tend to experience at this time of year. It's more like a deep sense of well-being and contentment.

The other night at Butterfly's tree decorating party for our little clan of four (there are really six, but two were too far away to attend), I experienced these usual positive emotions, but I also experienced a sense of sadness and loss. You see, my mother made the smocked balls in the photo above, once per Christmas for much of the eighties and nineties. She made two each year: gave one to Cuppa and me and kept one for herself.

She was also planning for the future, for we have two daughters. When we all were to pass on, each girl would be left with one set of grandma's smocked balls. She enjoyed doing it and took a lot of pride in her work. In many ways, she did not seem to be a terribly giving person, but she enjoyed giving these crafts to us each year, and she enjoyed the idea that they would one day be given to her grandchildren. And I'm sure that deep in her heart, she was hoping that they wouldn't forget her, that they might remember grandma with some fondness.

I also remembered my dad that afternoon. He was a shy little fellow who sat in the background at our tree decorating parties. But every year, he would be prompted to adorn the tree with at least one Christmas ball when the tree-decorating was almost completed. Although he stayed in the background most of the time, I know that he enjoyed being included in our gatherings and adding his little contribution to the occasion.

My parents lived long lives, so I haven't been given to mourning their passing terribly much. I haven't felt lonely or empty very often, but I did feel some pangs of loss for a while Saturday afternoon when we were, once again, decorating the tree.



Dora said...

yeah! After over a week of trying to get to your blog (kept getting errors and files that needed to be downloaded) I'm here!
Nice decorations :) I see that you've been busy with yours and Cuppas template. Nice work.
The tree party sounds lovely....fond memories of times gone past, pleasure at the present and hope for the future.
BTW - those ornaments are beautiful.

Madcap said...

It's good to hear pleasant Christmas memories and traditions. Right now I'm a little ambivalent, due to this and that. I hope my kids can grow up enjoying the season.

That's an amazing amount of work you've done on your template! I'm in awe!

mreddie said...

Hey AC - I like the background - thought I was somewhere else. My folks have passed as well, Dad for 10 years and Mom for 8, but we still remember those traditions we had. It's hard to believe that Christmas is almost upon us, it seems that the older I get, the faster the time goes.

One of the best parts of Christmas is to see it anew in the eyes and actions of my "grands". In anticipation!! ec

Valerie - Still Riding Forward said...

It's working perfectly today! Congrats!

Lovely post. We lost step dad on Christmas so it always puts a cloud on the holiday for Mom and us but we take joy in being together!

Party on!

-epm said...

Isn't every pleasant memory tinged with a mote of melancholy? I mean, with every pleasant memory we're faced with the realization that time has passed, and with each passing year we are further separated form those warm vignettes of joy and peace.

So savor those memories, menancholy and all! But rejoice in the knowledge that the events we live today -- even as we steep in the reflections of middle-age -- will become the sweet memories of our children, where we become the anchors of warmth, joy and peace in the stories our children will tell our grandchildren (may we be so lucky).

swamp4me said...

Wow, AC, you've been a busy little elf!

Anonymous said...

I think you probably just miss them A/C. I know I miss my Dad, especially at holiday gatherings.