From The Edgefield Advertiser print edition, January 5, 2022.
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
Love and Loss at Christmastime
The bliss of Christmas is fading. The New Year has ushered in colder days, preserving us, as we take measured sips of past glory and unbridled love shared during the Holidays. I’ve put away enough to get me through February, until I see the first daffodil appear in the front yard, or, the nod of a Lily of the Valley.
I noticed a lamp left on in one of the bedrooms on the second floor last week, then pretended not to notice. The second day, I twisted the switch. They are all gone. The door is locked. The jar is sealed.
When worlds collide and the symphony of human instruments born of my flesh create a unique and unprecedented opera, I bend and sway to its music. I can still hear their solos stretching for the limelight, the sopranos in delight, the altos of concern, the impromptu harmonies and then voices becoming quieter as one by one, that last bird of mine is squawking, standing, then listening to a call from far away. So far from here as only lovers can hear one another.
I want to throw open the doors again and watch the memory of lights twinkling, boots pacing after packages on the front porch, the spontaneous smiles at a makeshift Christmas tree. She placed the star atop the tree again this year. Just so. First try. It stayed, my heart jumped.
I want to drive my car, allowing the tires to meet their tracks exiting the dirt driveway. I want to wash the clothes and revisit what I wore, what we ate, how hard we worked together to create a masterpiece. We prayed together, we gave thanks together, we became one again for that moment in time as creation beckons us to do.
Our dessert table is drying up. The chocolates are half eaten and the cake is untouched. The dog is watching, carefully, to see if there will be any remaining activity.
I was never ready for any of you, but for all of you. My hand and my heart have been open from before I could speak of you, could lay eyes on you. And in this life, as we create these unique symphonies of love and union, I hope the magic that Christmas brings will transcend our families and into our communities and the greater world. There is no promise of tomorrow, only the love we share and the amount we care for one another.
And a happy New Year for us all!
Lydia Derrick Wherry