My mom was born on December 10, 1917 and she passed away in 2002. And even though 11 years have passed since she left us an innate sense of incompleteness overcomes me as her birthday nears. And thinking about her passing reminds me of all the other loved ones I’ve lost. The number inevitably piles up for us all as we move along life’s continuum. So I’ve had to find ways to compensate for my loss.
By now you may be horrified by my use of gluttonous consumerism and covetousness to commemorate my mostly-frugal loved ones. But I keep fond memories of them close through less commercial, and more meaningful, ways too.
Each Christmas I serve an apple pie in honor of my Nana Walsh—my dad’s mom—who baked one for us every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I slice our holiday meat using the carving set that belonged to my Grandpa Hughes, my mom’s dad, and I serve it on her WWII-era Noritake china. I sneak in a viewing of White Christmas because my dad loved the scene where Danny Kaye pretends to hurt his leg. No one else will watch it with me, so I turn on the commentary by Rosemary Clooney and spend 90 minutes with her on memory lane. My dad also loved Bing Crosby, so I play lots of Bing throughout the season. You’d be surprised how many Christmas albums he recorded! I hang the Christmas stockings my mom made. We play Hearts and Sevens and use the poker chips that belonged to my dad for the many card games we played together when I was a kid, and later when my kids were young. And I make sure to spend the holiday with our little family of four, passing down old Walsh family traditions and repeating those we’ve created for ourselves.
Have a merry Christmas with your loved ones passed and present!
Photo Courtesy of Easy Weekly Meals