Ghosts of Christmas Past


It’s been 18 days since my dad passed away. Life is beginning to feel like less of a dream and more like reality.

Christmas came and went without so much as a hello and goodbye. I didn’t do any Christmas shopping this year. I didn’t put up my Christmas tree. I barely even took down my Thanksgiving decorations quite honestly. I was here, and I was mentally present, and that’s all I could muster for the time being.

We got snowed in at my sister’s house on Christmas day. Initially the plan was to spend Christmas eve at her house, then have Christmas day lunch with her fiance Jeff and his family, then happily trek home where mom and I would have a quiet Christmas dinner of tamales and leftover Chinese food from the day before.

But by 1:00 that afternoon, Christmas lunch wasn’t ready to be served and out of nowhere, snow started falling from the sky horizontally in a massive snowstorm.

Elaine and Jeff live so far out in the country that the main road connecting their neighborhood to the nearest interstate highway was a 2-lane farm road with nothing but ditches and open fields on either side. And since I don’t drive a snow plow, the most logical option was to spend another night at the Elaine and Jeff B&B as I fondly refer to it. And although the temperatures dipped down into the 20s that night and barely rose above freezing the next morning, Mom and I were able to safely make the drive back to her house the day after Christmas.

I spent the night again here at my parents’ house. I had actually planned on going home, but my mom looked at me and said, “You’re not spending the night?” I hadn’t planned on it, but then I asked her if she wanted me to sleep over. She said yes so I did. Thankfully I’d at least brought my glasses and a contact lens case so I was partially prepared.

Last night, I was in the family room watching TV. My brother and his family had just left and mom was straightening things out in the room when she ventured over to the computer. Mom isn’t a computer person, unlike Dad and the rest of us so to see her try and turn off the computer after the kids left it on was surprising. “How do I use this computer?” she asked me.

She could’ve asked me, “How do I build a rocket?” and expected the answer to be just as easy.

“Are you sure you want to use that computer?” I asked. “That’s the one the kids use. Daddy has a better one in his office. And it’ll probably be easier to use.”

“Do I have a username on that computer?” she asked.

“No, but I can set one up for you,” I said.

“Maybe we can do that tomorrow,” she said.

I smiled. It was the first time she’d ever shown any interest in touching a computer since she had retired a few years ago, but I think if I could show her that her siblings use technology to communicate with each other, then she could use it too.

We’re quickly approaching the closing of 2012. I don’t have any New Year’s Eve plans, in fact I’m done being social for the rest of the year and opting out of any social obligations for NYE. More than likely, I’ll just spend a quiet evening at home and then I’ll fall asleep at my usual time while the rest of the world is ringing in 2013.

One thought on “Ghosts of Christmas Past”

  1. Love that we got snow on Christmas day!

    And funny how your mom wants to learn more about the computer. (Mine just barely got on email.)

    Also, I started blogging again. See if I can keep up this year. (Doing a Project 52 that should help.)

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