The most wonderful time of the year! Yes, the reminiscences flow from the corners of our hearts. Our accumulated memories and treasured ornaments followed through many moves and lives. Each year we would gently unwrap each ornament, remembering what it symbolized, who made the family treasures, and the years of traditions, family, and friends.
My parents have been gone for many years and my children are far away with their new families. The boxes of our special ornaments and decorations followed through many moves, losses, and marriages…until 2011. The remnants of Hurricane Irene caused an electrical outage and flooded the bottom floor of my home. I was away and all my special family trinkets and ornaments sat in 15 inches of water for days.
Cleaning up was overwhelming, including tearing out walls, pulling up rugs, and throwing out ruined furniture. The most heart rending was discovering water had seeped through the plastic storage containers marked Christmas. All of these treasured momentos were gone, moldy and cracked, forever lost.
The memories and warm emotions remain. The uniqueness of each ornament though has slipped away. The annual tree decorating parties are gone. My family traditions remain only in my heart, but have faded with the loss of each special bauble and decoration to trigger the exact memory. My children are grown and are making their own traditions, very different but meaningful to their families.
In my heart I long to open the special boxes of ornaments and recreate the closeness of family, and I miss my mom and dad and my wonderful children! Family is the warmest and most important memory.