Christmas Joy

Christmas alone is never a joyous time for me, but this year my cousin invited me to spend the day with her family, so I was looking forward to that, when she called to cancel our plans after her daughter, a nurse at a local drug store, came down with the Covid.  Backup plan, my neighbor, friend of all the years I have lived here, twenty-two, Marilyn, said I was welcome to join her family’s celebration. It wouldn’t be the first time I numbered among the family at her table. 

We knew that an arctic blast was headed our way, as the weather crews were warning for days in advance. I worried that there are no rails along the three steep steps to their front door and she pointed out that through the garage there is just one and both her husband and son would be there to help me up.  We agreed to see just how bad the weather got.  

On the last decent weather evening, Marilyn’s young neighbors behind her, had organized their church friends and their children to gather at various homes to carry on the ancient tradition of singing Christmas carols.  Marilyn called to let me know when they moved on from her house. With my front door open, I sat on a folding chair and sang along and even requested another before  they reconvened at Donna’s house. 

The same evening my cousin, Theresa called to advise that her younger brother, my cousin, Anthony, has passed on, after a terrible battle with cancer, and the consequences of alcohol and drugs on his body.  

Much later the same night while searching the Internet for my son, as I periodically do, I found a long article with more information about him than I have found in many years, ending with a nice, current photo of him.  I was so tickled I forwarded it to his sister and my cousin Theresa to verify my find.  As soon as they both concurred, it was him, I forwarded to many friends and family.  This was my Christmas joy. 

The Weather did take a dive, with gusts said to be up to 75 mph in some areas while the mercury quickly fell from 42 degrees F to 10 and then down to minus 4 degrees F on Christmas Day.  The news reported assorted mishaps including a 50 car pile up on the Ohio Turnpike.  The power outages began to climb, but I was most fortunate and did remain comfortable, and able to watch tv and keep lights on.

My daughter was the first to call and as always, it was a pleasure hearing her voice. She said Christian brought home a nice ham for their dinner and all is well. (Thank You, Lord!) The next call was from Pat, a neighbor down the cul de sac  who said their power went out and right back on again several times (requiring as many resets of clocks and such.) 

At this point I, still donned in flannels and a cap, made breakfast coffee when Marilyn called. Her son was on his way over with a plate for me from their Christmas dinner.  What a blessing for me, and all others who are lucky enough to have her in their lives. 


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