Remember the Ghosts

My mother, as I have mentioned, sends lovely care packages, especially around the holidays.  She always includes things that may be opened immediately, and things that are not to be opened until Christmas Day.  Being adults (and perhaps somewhat dull) we did not actually open the "immediate" things until this evening, when we had a nice quiet moment to indulge.  Of especial interest were several flat, rectangular objects which whispered "book" to fingertips once deft at discerning contents based on shape and feel alone...
My heart squeezed when I unwrapped this particular gift, because one of my clearest memories of my father is of him reading aloud to me the words of this story when I was no more than six or seven.  It was Christmas Eve, and we were curled up on the couch in his parents' living room, surrounded by a quiet darkness made gentle by the rainbow shimmer of Christmas lights.  His voice painted pictures in that darkness, bringing to life the humor, the horror, and the hope of the tale.

I held this tiny volume in my hands tonight, remembering, and had the overwhelming urge to read it aloud to someone else, to pass along the magic of a quiet voice in the darkness.  But there is no small form to share with me this Christmas Present, and it seems less and less likely that there will ever be one to share it with me in Christmas Future.  And I realized as I sat there, staring at the red and gold cover, heart aching with those twin emotions of joy and sorrow, that what I really want is for someone to read it aloud to me, curled up tight in the light of Christmas Past.

1 comment: