Tis’ the Season for Love…
I posted on Facebook our tree is done and our house is decorated. I had just settled down with my laptop and a little bottle of cold coke.
When what should my listening ears hear? A large crash. Oh Christmas Tree had toppled over, breaking many of our wondrous ornaments.
I called Cole downstairs and shared my sentiments. I started to cry. He picked up handfuls of glass pieces and consoled me with visions of Elmer’s glue. I shared with him the old saying: That which does not kill you will make you stronger. He told me at the rate he was going he was going to be the strongest person in the world. I grabbed a vacuum and broom; he grabbed a drill and twine. While I vacuumed, Cole anchored the tree to the window ledge. When we had straightened the lights, rearranged the remaining ornaments, and made sure the tinsel was hanging down and not up, we stood back and looked at the tree.
I went to take my shower. No hot water. Really. I grabbed a bathrobe and a flashlight, put on my serious I-know-what-I-am-doing face, and headed down to visit the hot-water heater. After I had found it, I asked, “How do you feel”? I felt its forehead. It was cool. I looked down and saw a little leak. Not good. I stomped several times, did a little Gregorian chanting, spritzed it with essential oils of lavender and thieves, and set my vibrational energy to the Fix It channel.
My vibrational path must have been off, because the next morning Cole yelled, “MOM, we don’t have hot water!”
“Are you sure?” I yelled back. He was very sure. I Yelped, “Hot-water repair!” and Mr. Hot showed up a few hours later. He looked at my hot water heater, shook his head sadly, and quoted me a replacement price; I gasped. Mr. Hot closed the deal when he told me I could take a hot shower in four hours.
Cole and I needed a project. A house full of Christmas campers, a phone ringing like we live in a bookie joint, laundry piled to the ceiling, (due to lack of hot water and interest) and looking for our missing Christmas Elves was just not enough to entertain me. We needed a Gingerbread house. I am not a crafty person. Remind me sometime to tell you about the time I caulked the dog. My DM (dear mother) suggested a kit, but after all these years, I still sometimes forget that Mother always knows best, or rather, Mother always knows me best. I headed to Bed Bath and Bring It Back to purchase my first silicone baking sheet, and to our local grocery store to buy gingerbread ingredients.
Cole looked through the 20-page step-by-step directions I had Googled, and wondered why I didn’t listen to my mother. I glared at him telling him it would be FUN. We stirred, mixed, glued, cursed, fought, laughed, and everything, including Rascal, was sticky. Very, Very, Sticky. However, now that we are done and no longer sticking to one another, Cole and I agree that our Gingerbread house looks pretty damn good. The one piece of advice my DM gave me that I did listen to is, “Icing, dear daughter, can cover a multitude of sins.” My mother is so smart.
My wedding anniversary is on December 23rd. Since you may already think I am odd (I sell deer antlers, let Cole paint stripes on our dog, name my hot-water heater, make Gingerbread houses from scratch during what can best be described as our “high season”), I might as well tell you…cue whooooooo…
I saw Joe.
Racing home from a few errands, I parked in front of our house, I looked in our front window and scared myself silly. In front of our Christmas tree was my dearly departed. I think he might be new at the whole ghost thing because he did not stick around very long.
Very early on December, 23rd, I turned on our pretend fireplace,
plugged in our not so pretty Christmas tree ever and munched a cookie. My house was quiet. Joe and I never celebrated our anniversary much beyond a happy anniversary, and a hug and a kiss. Some years we forgot it was our anniversary. When our wedding vows were said, Joe kissed me and said, “Done.” I felt the same way—done. The formality was over; we both knew fate had sealed our marriage long, long ago.
I looked over and admired the snowflake ornament Cole had made me, its image reflected on the ceiling—beautiful, intricate, perfect. I looked at our not so bad gingerbread house and our half-lit up tree anchored with two hooks to the windowsill.
I looked at Joe’s picture on our mantel and offered him an orange juice toast—“To us.” I miss him fiercely.
On the floor by the tree I noticed an ornament that had fallen but not broken. An ornament I had mourned when our Christmas tree crashed. A rather ugly gold striped Christmas ball. We had laughed when we bought it. On our first anniversary, Joe said. “I forgot to buy you anything.” Which was fine, because I had forgotten it was our anniversary. He then took the gold stripped Christmas ball off the tree and wrote, “I love you, JR,” and dated it December 23, 2002. I smiled as I read the words and hung the ornament back on the tree. Later that day, I told a friend my ornament story, and she suggested I put it in a safe spot, concerned that it would break.
I don’t think so. ‘I love you’ never breaks.
Merry Christmas from my Odd Family to yours!
Showing off my links…
None of them are affiliate links. Just odds and ends I found along my internet travels that made me think of you …
Feeling Flakey? Cole is sharing his snowflake link.
I know you are looking at our Gingerbread house thinking, if only I could make one of those–well sticky loves company…here is the Gingerbread link we found that was both amusing and helpful.
19 thoughts on “Tis’ the Season for Love”
Wow. No matter what, this Christmas will be a memorable one, Katybeth! Loved the part about the I Love You ornament. Hope the rest of your holiday is smooth sailing. Merry Christmas to you and Cole! 🙂
Thanks Teresa–as Cole tells me (often these days) well it will make a good blog post mom!
Merry Christmas to you!
As usual, you go right to the heart of the matter.
Blessings on you and Cole and Rascal during this meaningful season….
Thanks Cynthia. Reflecting while keeping it light! It is a meaning season.
Well–you won’t need a new hot water heater in 2011! Katybeth, the gingerbread house is amazing. Did you really make it from scratch? Its so you and Cole. I love it.
Happy Anniversary and I promise not to call the men with the white coats. Love doesn’t break.
We did make it from scratch and I hope we won’t need a new hot water heater until 2025!
Happy New Year!
I loved this story and I love how you and Cole continue to enjoy the Holiday even after the tree came crashing down, the water heater broke, many precious ornaments broke etc.. One of these things would cause me to bury my head under the covers and cancel Christmas altogether but you are a trooper! You had to deal with a lot and you went on to create a beautiful gingerbread house! It is so pretty! I would never even attempt something so difficult! Bravo!
I am so sorry you miss Joe so much and there is nothing I can say or do but send you one of my finest Christmas hugs possible.
One of your finest Christmas hugs is more than enough!
Thanks Nancy. Happy New Year!
Katybeth, one word, WOW!! What a gorgeous gingerbread house, you and Cole did a mighty fine job on it! I got a little bit choked up when I read about the ornament and Joe, but that’s ok because you have been truly blessed to have had such an incredible life with him. Whether it be for a short time or a lifetime, there’s not many people that can say that they have shared such a love. Christmas blessings to you and Cole. xx
Thanks Antoinette for admiring our Gingerbread house. If you were here I would offer offer you a Gingerbread peppermint that is been slightly less handled than the rest. 😀
Blessings back to you–and a cheer to 2011.
Wonderful, inspirational story. It takes a strong will to see the merry in trials like the ones you mentioned. May your New Year be filled with peace and hope and many more posts from you.
Thanks Jean! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas -and I am wishing you a wonderful start to 2011.
You have the gift and you continue to share it, which makes me so happy and so very grateful. You managed to turn a few disasters into a heart-warming message of love, family and hope. Happy Anniversary, Merry Christmas and wishing you and Cole all good things in 2011! Love, Julie
Thank you Julie…3 cheers for 2011! Especially for friendship and Grandbabies!
Tell Cole thanks for the snowflake link! I saw one in a picture, but it didn’t have instructions.
You and Cole are amazing. I marvel and your resolve and your humor. I also marvel at your ability to tell a story.
Maybe you’ll get an energy credit on the hot water heater. If not, you still get credit for staying sane.
Thanks Merry Lee. Energy credit-now there is a thought! I might have better luck with with the credit than staying sane! 😀
Happy New Year!
Having heard this story over the phone, I am still amazed.
Talk about a holiday with lots of ups and downs. I am delighted it ended with such an up. You and Cole were always the perfect team!
🙂 😡 What does all this say about you? You are such an amazing person that you dont waller in self pity. You are a survivor and you roll with the punches and get back on your feet with style and grace. You and Cole may vent and get frustrated but you handle what ever life throws at you. God bless you and Cole in 2011.
I remember our cats knocking our Christmas tree over several years ago…some of my favourite ornaments got broken, and I was in tears!
The snowflake Cole made you is beautiful!
Some people name cars, others name water heaters!
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