Friday, December 16, 2005

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #90: Holiday Memories

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time."

-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Weekend Assignment #90: Share a treasured holiday memory. If it happened during the holiday season (which means, basically, from the day after Thanksgiving to the end of the Bowl games), it's eligible.

Extra Credit: Fruitcake:Ever, you know, had any?

-John Scalzi

Ok, so there aren't many holiday memories from when I was a child that I care to dwell on, that's ok, because I don't happen to believe that one has to reach all the way back into the deep, dusty archives of one's personal experiences to come up with a beloved fact some of the nicest ones can sometimes be the newest ones we make. As a matter of fact, I was given a pretty nice memory gift this past Wednesday, when I got a very well timed phone call from my Aunt Amanda, who lives in Virginia and who I am convinced is psychic.

I see my therapist every Wednesday, and this past session she thought it might be a good idea if I laid out my plans for the upcoming holidays. Was I coping ok? Was I sad or feeling misplaced? All valid questions. It can be a strange feeling to know that you are alone in the world. That what blood relations that are close by as far as geography goes, might as well be strangers. It's that family dynamic that usually makes me feel lost at the holidays. Seeing other folks embrace their brothers and sisters can be somewhat painful, but at the same time it also leaves me feeling hopeful in a strange way, because it is good to see that not all families were as fragmented as mine. Who would want a world like that? family are circus people...someone has to be...right? LOL.

Actually, there is one member of my family, my last real blood relative, my Aunt Amanda who isn't a circus performer, she is a sweet, loving, kind hearted woman, who is full of energy and who loves me, faults and all. She even shares my wacky sense of humor. With my Aunt Amanda, all she demands of you is that you be yourself...whoever that may be, good or bad. She and I have always been close, and she has been there for me in times when I had lost everyone in my life except for Alan. She has always understood the scars left behind by my mother, because mom was her sister, and she knew all about mom's problems with mental illness. My Aunt has been a neverending source of love and strength for me. She loves me.

Last Wednesday she and I made another memory. Alan decided after my appointment that I would feel better if I went on a drive, as opposed to going right home after my appointment. He grabbed some lunch for us and took me up to Twin Peaks, in San Francisco for a quiet lunch and an afternoon with one of the most stunning views of San Francisco that can be seen. We were up there for about 45 minutes , when Alan decided to go and photograph some beautiful Red Tailed Hawks that were flying on the other side of the vista. I stayed in the car and shut my eyes, trying very hard to not notice how achy I felt and how sad the therapy session had left me. cell phone rang. It was Amanda.

" ok honey? I have been thinking about you for a couple hours." I couldn't help it, I had to cry just a little. She always knows when I need a long distance hug. :) So far this Christmas that is my favorite new memory, the sound of my Aunt Amanda's voice on my cell phone...telling me she loved me...and that I will always have her love and acceptance, then asking me what silly thing I have done lately? We usually get a pretty good laugh sharing our mutual penchant for misadventures. LOL. She is a wonderful lady, and a fun person to make memories with, even across the miles.

Extra Credit: I LOVE Fruitcake. My favorite fruticake was made at a bakery in New Orleans. Sigh. There was nothing like it. They are rebuilding and hope to open up by next Christmas.

"The Guardian"
San Mateo, California
November 26th, 2005


Phinney said...

that's so good, she called you. sweet.

fruitcake, blech!!!


Karen Funk Blocher said...

A phone call can make all the difference, can't it? I'm so glad she called you.

I was a little worried about you last night when I didn't see an entry by the time I went to bed. But here you are! Remember, not all who care about you are relatives. Scattered as we all are, your online "family" is thinking of you, too.


V said...

Prayers, Carly.