For Christmas a little art. Many moons ago before I was born, my mother made a Christmas card for her mother. The card illustrated the Twelve Days of Christmas using my grandmother’s five children: my mom (who died at 45), my uncle Barry (who died at 22), my uncle Scott (who spent most of his life in group homes and is now missing–thank you State of Florida), my aunt Susan, and my aunt Genie. Susan and Genie were adopted by my grandmother after their father married my grandmother, embezzled money meant for the families of victims of an Alaskan earthquake, and promptly disappeared. For reasons unknown to me, my aunts are not part of my life.
The holidays bring to mind family–what it is or what it should be–and family influences who we are for better or for worse. But whatever seems like forever is transient and their are no promises for what the future will bring. I like this card because it shows an ideal family that my mother wanted, a postcard from the past, even if it wasn’t real. And surely the ideal and the reality all gather in the writer I am today–my grandmother’s only grandchild and the only one to tell the story.