Best Christmas ever

Growing up, we had a full house at all times.

At our peak, we had my great-grandmother Anastasia, grandmother Rose, grandfather Calvin, mom Robin, cousin Carole and Carole’s daughter Robyn. And me, of course.

Always loved that Carole named Robyn after Robin. I have an older cousin Dawn Lorraine. (They always called her by both names.) Although my name came from being born at, wait for it, sunrise.

In any event, the size of said house was… small. A tiny two-bedroom townhouse. An upgrade from the upstairs/downstairs situation in Johnstown with Aunt Lenna and cousin Cora Jean (Carole’s sister) upstairs and my family (pre-me) downstairs. But, full of love either way.

Fast-forward many years that included Carole and Robyn moving out of state, Mom and me moving out and then back in, and losing my beloved Anna Banana and eventually Rosie Girl, we still were short of bedrooms. But as a teen, I finally finally got my own.

I moved out at 18 not because I wanted to leave my family, but because I knew Mom would get my room.

I did return that summer, and we had so much fun. But I determined that I’d never displace her again. And I didn’t.

She and my grandfather moved to a pretty house at the end of 2005. Three bedrooms. And a marvelous downstairs with a fireplace.

I came home that Christmas to a room of my own.

It was the best gift I ever received.

Grampy died a year later, at the hands of cruel “doctors” at the VA. I spent a lot of time in that room. We didn’t have internet and I mostly only stayed weekends — bookended by four-hour drives each way.

But still. Knowing that Mom would always have a place for me still fills my heart with joy to this day.

That bed was horrible; she had a friend help her buy it online. But I never complained.

We never had a dime to spare. So that they went without food and other necessities for me to have a mattress and adorable mint-green and pink sheets and a matching lamp and table from Target was a Big Deal.

By the next Christmas, I’d upgraded my own apartment so Mom could move in with me.

She brought those bedroom items with her, and not much else.

I still have them. Still uncomfortable as shit.

But, it’s the last thing I have from the best family ever.

I will always love that I had them to go back to. That the happy dances happened when I arrived, not when I left.

This Christmas is more comfortable and I am glad for that. Especially during a year that has been hard for just about everyone else who supports democracy and common decency. But nothing will beat 2005.

One Lonely Response to Best Christmas ever

  1. Caterwauling :

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