Of course things change. The grandparents who had always bought the extra bag of groceries and paid the occasional bill, were not there anymore.
Then my brother and I married, had kids and
moved far away. My Dad got esophageal cancer, and went from being an energetic playmate to the grandkids one Christmas- to being in the hospital, a month away from his death the next. So Christmas became a mixed blessing, a time of family gatherings, but also a time of the glaring absence of the ones who used to gather us together.
And it meant long 3,000 mile drives in all kinds of weather, to circulate through the various family members in all the corners of Wyoming and then return home.
|the handmade ornaments have come to mean more than the gold necklaces decorating the 11 million dollar Christmas tree.|