It’s been five years now since Lisa died. Sometimes a person can chose to evoke a memory and other times a memory just kind of sneaks in unexpectedly. Those surreptitious memories seemed to have happened with me a lot this year. They didn’t necessarily make me sad or maudlin. It was the frequency that surprised me.
I’d like to share some of the things that occurred, leading up to and including Christmas, on this blog. I’d welcome any insights that you may have after reading it.
The first thing that I experienced happened when I was wrapping gifts. If I had a section of wrapping where the paper wasn’t quite precise, I just stuck another piece of tape to hold it down. When Lisa was in National Honor Society, the students had to do volunteer work. Lisa chose to help staff the gift wrapping booth at the mall. She loved doing that! I thought to myself that a person wrapping gifts at the mall could not get away with my quick-fix, stick-a-piece-of-tape wrapping method! In fact, Lisa probably wouldn’t say anything to me, but I doubt she would approve…maybe roll her eyes….
I caught a funny Saturday Night Live sketch centering on ornaments being placed on the Christmas tree. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73Bz5ZNPIMQ. It struck my funny bone as Lisa was the one who helped me with the ornaments and we too, would put the less liked ornaments at the back of our tree.
My niece Sarah was telling me that she saw someone wearing Christmas earrings that had flashing lights. It reminded her of Lisa. Lisa had a phenomenal collection of earrings and I specifically remembered that she had Christmas light bulb earrings that flashed red or green.
My daughters would laugh at me when I tried to sing “Silent Night” a capella to them at bedtime as I always seemed to sing at such a low register that my ending notes were way too deep. Hearing that song on the radio last night still made me chuckle.
On Christmas Eve, my husband, older daughter Laura and I watched the movie Christmas Chronicles I. The setting took place in Chicago. We immediately recognized the skyline buildings as Lisa lived in Chicago for many years. That was another memory that came out of the blue while watching a Christmas movie.
We went on to watch Christmas Chronicles II. That movie took place in Cancun, Mexico. The girls and I vacationed in Cancun for two spring vacations. Some of the locations looked very familiar.
On Christmas Day, we did a Zoom call with my extended family in Michigan. My brother-in-law was wearing a Santa hat for the call. It reminded me of all the years that Lisa would don her Santa hat and pass out gifts to everyone.
On a Christmas Day Zoom call with my husband’s family, someone remarked about how Laura like to decorate for Christmas. I told them that it was actually Lisa who liked to do the seasonal decorating.
Reflecting back, there were all of these bursts of special memories. Do they occur for everyone during the holidays? What, if any, meanings do they have?
For the first time in these five years, the memories made me smile. Prior to this time, any memory of Lisa made me sad, even temporarily depressed. Even though I will always grieve for Lisa, it would be great to enjoy the memories as I was able to this year.