Christmas Lost and Found

Published: 13th April 2010
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Christmas was a quiet affair when I grew up. There were just my parents and I. I vowed that someday I' d marry and have six children, and at Christmas my house would vibrate with energy and love.

I found the man who shared my dream, but we had not reckoned on the possibility of infertility. Undaunted, we applied for adoption, and then he arrived.

We called him Our Christmas Boy Links Of London because he came to us during that season of joy. Then nature surprised us again. We added two biological children to the family-not as many as we had hoped for, but three made an entirely satisfactory crowd.

As Our Christmas Boy grew, he made it clear that only he had the expertise to select and Jecorate the Christmas tree. He rushed the season, starting his gift list in November. He pressed .is into singing carols, our frog like voices contrasting with his musical gift of perfect pitch. Each loliday he stirred us up, leading us through a round of merry chaos.

Then, on his 26th Christmas, he left us in a car accident on his way home to his wife and in-ant daughter. But first he had stopped by the family home to decorate our tree.

Grief-stricken, his father and I sold our home, where memories clung to every room, and movedaway. Seventeen years later, we grew old enough to return home, and settled into a small quiet house, like the house of my childhood. Our other son and daughter had man-led and begun their own Christmas traditions in another part of the country.

One day, I heard the doorbell ring. There stood our granddaughter, and in her gray-green eyes 1

granddaughter ordered, "I'm singing the solo and I want to see you there. " We had long ago given up the poignant Christmas ervi, but now, we sat rigid in the front pew, fight-ig back tears. Our granddaughter' s magnificent voice oared, clear and true, in perfect pitch. How her father would have relished that moment!

We had been alerted that there would be a lot of eople for dinner-but 35 t I could not sort out who be-jnged to whom, but it didn' t matter. They all be-3nged to each other,is not always one' s own flesh and blood. It is a climate of the heart. Had it not been our a-opted son, we would not now be surrounded by caring strangers.

Later, our granddaughter asked us to come along with her to a place she likes to go.

In the foothills there was his grave. As Links Of London Earrings we stood by the headstone in the chilly but somehow comforting silence, we were not prepared for our granddaughter' s next move. Once more that day her voice, so like her father's, lifted in song, and the mountainside echoed on and on into infinity.

When the last pure note had faded, I felt a sense of peace, of the continuity of life, of renewed faith and hope. The real meaning of Christmas had been restored to us

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