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Holiday Remembrance

As I prepare for holiday festivities, I wonder if I am alone in my profound sense of loss for those who won't be celebrating Christmas with us.

Unpacking the felt stockings that were lovingly embroidered and decorated by my grandmother Montana (or as we called her " Mont") I can still smell the little cupboard in her house where she poured Brandy over fruitcake for weeks before Christmas. I don't remember smelling alcohol- just spices.

My grandpa Lee (whom we called Bud) would be in charge of rectifying and repairing all damaged decorative items. He was also the king of puns and had the greatest - "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" - demeanor. He also tied the fishing flies for the family and had an immense work ethic. He kept multiple little journals. In one he recorded the title and author of every book he read. In another a detailed list of all the countries he and Mont had visited. (more than 40) in another, every job he had worked and his wages and bills.

I especially miss my brother Scott. He died of brain cancer when he was 41. He and I fought a lot growing up. We were very different! I was the oldest so, clearly, I was always right. He could consistently push my buttons on so many levels. I spent a great many family gatherings wanting to ring his neck. I miss his laugh. His beautiful blue eyes, grace and intelligence.

I guess I will try and find ways to celebrate and honor their souls this year- so that our children and grandchildren can carry their love and joy of life forward.

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