Monday, November 24, 2008

The Tree

It has been five years...five very long years since I've done this. I thought it would be a lot easier. I should have known better! As I sit here now, I'm glad that I did it, but there is a small ache in my heart that I wish would go away. I know it won't...actually, I don't think that it can. I know it won't go away if I try to push. Well, maybe it would, but the truth is, I'm not sure that I want it too. Because with the ache come memories, and those memories are good. The best of my life.

Yesterday, I drug all of the Christmas decorations that I've been buying since all of the "after Christmas" sales last year out of my closet and out from the storage under my little home on wheels. I had purchased a nice tree last January that I have in storage up at my little brother Geoff's place, but it is much too big for this place. So, I went out and bought a small four foot tree. I had bought some beautiful ribbon for the big tree that I bought, and guess what? It was much too big for my little tree. Sooooooo, I had to go buy some new ribbon! And the ribbon that I bought was a different color than the beautiful ribbon that I bought last summer, so I had to buy some different colored ornaments as well. The box of Christmas "stuff" that I had pulled out of my closet is still about half full...the wrong color. Aaahhhhhhh!

But still, it is so worth it! I have always loved Christmas and my memories of the holiday season when I was married to Paula were always so wonderful. She loved to decorate, and I would usually start to pull the boxes (and boxes...and boxes...and boxes) and the trees (yes, I said trees. We usually had about 12-15 decorated trees of various sizes in the house) out of the closets and storage spaces in our home on Veteran's day. That's when the decorating would begin. The goal was to be done by Thanksgiving so that when we got home from Paula's folks house after Turkey Day, we would always come home to a beautifully decorated home. And we did!

As I thought about decorating my first tree alone, I wanted it to be different from what we had shared for the years of our marriage. The ribbon I had purchased was black and rich looking. The ornaments were silver and crystal and black. I had gold and crystal beaded garland to string through the tree. It was going to be beautiful! But fate has a strange way of providing the things that we need when we really don't fully comprehend. My looks like it should (and could) be sitting in Paula's condo. The rich Burgundy's and gold. The jewel tones sparkle in the hundreds of miniature lights strung throughout the tree. The ribbon and bows could have been hers. The small heart pillow with the gold ribbon caught my eye as I walked through Freddie's...and I knew I had to have it for my tree. Or is it "our" tree? It could be. It should be!!

I talked to her on the phone tonight. Another good conversation, it seems most of them are these days. She wanted to know all about my tree when I told her I had decorated yesterday. (She had spent the past five days decorating her condo). She laughed as I told her this it looked as beautiful as she did and I told her the colors. She asked for a picture, so I'll E-mail her one tomorrow. And...she couldn't believe that I had that black and gold ribbon. It was on her list to try to buy the next time she went to Costco. She had bought one roll and it wasn't enough. She'll get two rolls in the mail sometime soon. Fate? I don't think so. I just think two people who are "soul mates" and always will be, whether together or apart.

I think good memories will always be bittersweet. But I'm glad I have them! And even though my life will continue to place situations before that will bring those memories...and losses...back front and center, I pray that I will continue to embrace them and be willing to endure the heartache as I remember the beauty and goodness that was my marriage.

1 comment:

Deb said...

What a gorgeous tree! I'm so proud of you for working through the pain and giving yourself this gift. I know for sure that because you're not trying to avoid pain, you will find pleasures and joy on your path that you could never have known before.

By the way - what's with the Sasquatch Stocking? I hope Santa packs an extra sleigh for you. :)