one left under the tree. I can't hold back the tears and I start to cry. Then
here comes the children in to say let's go Mom. I turn away to wipe my face with
my hand so they will not see me crying on Christmas day. And before I turn to
leave I grab the small box I wrap a week ago. I carefully put it in my purse and
run with the kids out the door to lunch with my Mother's family. We have the
usual Christmas dinner with the family. My Grandmother has out done herself once
again in the kitchen and my Aunt has the house smelling like a gingerbread house
with all her delectable pies. My Mom has set the table and I with my cousins are
corraling the little tikes. My uncle calls us all into the dinner room for a
pray and before he ends it he adds to help my Dad and his family in the loss of
his loving Mother. I start to tear and see out of the corner of my eye my Dad
face and eyes so red trying to fight back the tears. I have to be strong for him
After dinner as always we sit around the living room and open present before
the football game starts. All the present are open and there is laughter from
all the children and sharing of "Thank you's" and "How did you know". But I am
staring at my purse that holds the one gift not opened. I walk over to my purse
and grab it up and walk to my Mammaw's bedroom. This is the name I call my
Grandmother on my Mom's side of the family. I sit in the easy chair in Mammaw's
bedroom and wonder if my Grandmother would have liked the present I got her. I
had just started to really get to know her and what she liked. I don't know what
to do with the present now that she died on Christmas eve. Do I give it to my
Mammaw or charity? As I sit and think about the little box wrap with the
prettiest paper I could find, Mammaw came in as if she knew and she probably did
we had been close all my life, so you knew just where she would find me.
"Connie," she said, "is that the present for Gladys?"
With a tear in my eye I shook my head yes and added, "I don't know what to do
She sat on the bed beside me and said, "She would want you to have it, so
open it up."
I started to remove the pretty paper very carefully as if it was a present in
itself. I opened the box and showed Mammaw the present that I had planned to
give my GrandMother.
"It is a wonderful gift and it plays a tune. Yes, you should keep it." As she
smiled and handed it back too me.
"But I could never fill it with my jewelry it would be too sad for me each
time I opened it." my lips quviering as the tears rolled down my cheeks.
Mammaw grabbed my hands around the jewelry box and said, "It is already full
my dear with love from your Grandmother to you. You just need to open it when
you miss her to hear the loving tune and remember her love for you on days when
So, I never lost her on Christmas eve. I have all her love in a jewelry box
and open this last gift every Christmas day.
Michelle Reid-Copyright © 2010