Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dear Gramps

I am  sure that you are gearing up for a better Christmas celebration than I could even imagine with Grandma, Jesus and the heavenly choir. Does the Christmas banquet include thin bread? I hope so!!

Over here the Christmas preparations have begun as well. And I have to say I missed you a little extra this year. You see, this year is the first year that I have ventured into the world of real Christmas trees. Jimmy and I went out to the lot and I tried to pick the perfect tree. (p.s. you are right - they sure are getting expensive!). And I hope you think I did!!

As we were putting the tree up, I was instantly taken back to the farm years. Coming home from school or getting up on a Saturday, piling into the vehicle of choice and heading across the gravel roads. There was always a tinge of excitement in my belly because I was going to see Grandpa.

At some point, the comment would be made that Grandpa had his Christmas tree. You could feel the excitement grow. We would pull into the drive, fly out of the car with doors slamming and head over to the house. You were often watching for us, weren't you? It was a rare occasion you didn't meet us at the door with a smile in your eyes questioning to see how we all were.

You were so proud to show off your tree, we could barely get our boots and coats off before we were slip sliding through the living room. I am positive our 'skating' drove you bananas as you thought about how long it took you to polish your floors but you rarely said a peep. Instead Trev and I would slide our way around to the corner where your tree stood. The scent was intoxicating and the lights would be shining brightly.

We would wander over and when we were old enough reverently touch it. There were all the ornaments: little egg carton ones that either auntie Cindy or auntie Elaine had made many years ago where their little fingers were still short and stubby. The lights with the pretty light covers that sparkled and glistened. I am sure Grandma remembers those! The ornaments you had collected along the years - beaded candy canes and snowflakes; namesake sleighs; a little wooden soldier; ornaments from town businesses and the glass bulbs from years ago.

The conversation always started with how beautiful the tree was and how it smelled so good. In the middle years it usually parlayed into how expensive they were getting (although you didn't seem to say that as much once you moved into Regina) and then went to talk of other things. By that point the conversation level seemed to fade as I would gaze at the tree, checking to see if the grandchildren's candy canes had made their way onto it yet and if there were any stray presents under it.

That day would often end with cookies at the table. Fudgeo or vanilla cream were my favorites! Trevor and Kim don't keep the cookie drawer any more. But I certainly haven't forgotten it.

How I wish Gramps that I could invite you over to check out my tree. That we could discuss the crazy prices and the clean up from all the needles. How I long for one of your famous bear hugs and you to ask me why I am so tall! To tell you about my adventures and find out about yours.

One day gramps we will have Christmas again. Missing you until then!!!


1 comment:

Mom said...

What a wonderful tribute and fond memories of your Grandpa. I am sure you were shedding some tears as you wrote it as I did reading it. I remember some dark cold nights that Grandpa, Dad & I were in the city lots as Grandpa looked for that perfect tree! Sometimes it was so big that we had to rearrange the presents from the trunk so we could fit the tree in.Then he would tie the trunk down as it wouldn't shut and we would have a chilly ride home. He would be laughing and smiling all the way home as he just finished his shopping for the gifts and the tree in ONE day.
Yes we miss those times and the family that use to be at our Christmas table. We can keep them close to our hearts by remembering them the way you did.