Three Pages, Single-Spaced

December 1, 2010

The days go by, and I am filled with joyful holiday feelings – sifting through the Christmas boxes, sprinkling fake snow on every surface, singing “Silent Night” to Juice – and then I see Judy’s face in the picture on the table, and I remember she doesn’t get to have Christmas this year.  Or, ever again, I’m suddenly realizing.  Why is that always so shocking?  Christmas in heaven, maybe?  I guess?  Possibly.

Her girls turn two today.

Judy was famous – in my house, anyway – for her Christmas cards.  How can I go through the holidays without a Judy Christmas card?  There was a letter, of course there was a letter – the Longest Christmas Letter in the Universe!  If aliens received Judy’s letter by mistake, they would have scanned it through their Intergalactic Translator and said to each other (using only their minds, of course), “Holy beans, Blurg.  This lady has written the longest letter in the universe – or at least in Section 6Q, riiight?!”  The letter was epic – so epic, you couldn’t be annoyed by its length – you could only pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, and settle in for the night.  In my mind, her letters were six pages long with absolutely no margins and 8 pt font.  But I may be exaggerating slightly.  I do distinctly remember, however, that they were glorious.

Perhaps I shall take up the mantle of Longest Christmas Letter in the Universe.  Of course, I still haven’t finished writing thank-you notes from Juice’s birth, so…I have my memories, I guess.

Today at lunch, Moo declared with wonderment that this Christmas would be her FOURTH Christmas!  So I told her how many Christmases I have celebrated, and her chin plopped into her applesauce.  “And each year, I love Christmas more and more,” I told her.

I really do.  But it’s a funny feeling, as you get older and your love for life and the holidays becomes shaded with the knowledge of loss and tragedy.  I love more because I know life ends.  I try to live and celebrate with my eyes wide open, taking it all in, because I know…I know I’m lucky.  That’s what Judy’s letters were mostly about – feeling lucky, feeling blessed.

I was just about to write that I miss the wonder that Moo feels for Christmas, and, well – everything.  But then I realized I don’t, because I still do feel that wonder.  … And I guess that would be my wish for Judy’s daughters – I hope even though they were practically born knowing about suffering, that they will still feel awe at all the beauty and miracles of the world, whether it’s their fourth Christmas or their thirtieth.

But I do still miss the Longest Christmas Letter in the Universe.

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4 Responses to “Three Pages, Single-Spaced”

  1. millie Says:

    A lovely salute to your friend. She was truly special.

  2. Beth H Says:

    beautiful. (sorry if i’ve posted this 3 times; it doesn’t seem to be working…)

  3. pam b Says:

    well written 🙂 hope you have a nice christmas although i understand how its hard to balance everything

  4. kristi Says:

    Please please do take that up… and I want one.


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