I don’t think I’ve done this before, write something for this blog myself, that wasn’t a piece of my mom’s poetry. But I’m doing it this year because, well just because. I miss her a lot, and I have missed her more this year than for many, many years. Some of it is because I got married this year and my whole extended family was there, or a great many of them anyway, and of course Mom (and Dad, too) weren’t, as they are dead and all. Having renewed the relationship with so many family members, I feel the absence of her more acutely.
But Mom was not good at Christmas. She did not like it. She felt that all this holiday sentimentality was “phony.” And being prone to seasonal affective disorder, she would become quite depressed this time of year. She would cry often, with sullen, angry tears. In the language of my sisters and I, Mom was always “in a bad mood.” We had to tiptoe around and be extra good, but we were kids and that just meant we would fight with each other more, causing Mom to spiral down even more.
She would do her best to rise to the occasion for Christmas Day. She and Dad would pile up the presents under the tree and the cookies and milk for Santa were gone, proving his presence and the carrot left for Rudolph would be nibbled. It was magic when we were little, but got pretty iffy and tense as we got older. Money was a big issue on the farm, usually unspoken but the walls would talk as they did in the DH Lawrence short story, “The Rocking Horse Winner.” The walls would say “there must be more money! There must be More MONEY!”
And we (Mom, my oldest sister and myself) left the farm right after Christmas one year, on the day school started again.
Yeah, Mom hated Christmas big time. But as she grew into her life after the farm and started writing her poetry, she came to give it as gifts to everyone around her. She would write constantly, coming up with these silly, sometimes brilliant rhymes, and she would do this at Christmas as well. The local newspapers published them in the letters sections all the time. Her holiday poems were some of the best.
I am missing her right now. But reading back over the poetry posted here for the past several years, I know she is right here with me.
I love you Mom! Merry Christmas!