I remember sitting on the stairs with my Gramma Wright every Christmas singing carols ... "where the treetops glisten, and children listen to hear sleighbells in the snow ..." Gramma spent every Christmas with us until I was eight. She jumped clear out of her skin when our dog's nose touched her hand, she smiled at everything I said as though it was the most genious piece of information she'd ever heard, she gave the best Christmas presents ...
Until I turned nine. That Christmas she was in a nursing home and her present confused me. It was a plastic doll face with crocheted blue and white bonnet and three blue and white crocheted hot pads buttoned to its neck. I remember opening it at home, Gramma wasn't there, and staring at the ugly, strange gift and feeling disappointment. Last year Gramma had given me a plastic mixer that actually mixed eggs if you turned the handle fast enough. This year ... needless to say, this greedy, ungrateful little nine yr old donated it to the local Good Will.
I would give anything to get it back. It would hang in hallowed spot on my kitchen wall, plastic doll face and all. You see, it was the last Christmas gift I would ever get from my precious, best friend in the whole wide world. It was the best she could give. I found out later, shortly after she died, that the only place she could shop was the nursing home craft store. It was the closest she could come to getting me a doll. At nine, I cried, hard, wrenching tears. Gramma had passed and I tossed her last act of sacrifice away.
Today, twenty-eight years later, I know Gramma would forgive me. It's Christmas when I most miss her, it never goes away ... the missing. I'm sure she's happy though, where the treetops glisten year round. Someday I'm going to find me a dollfaced hot pad and buy it - just to remember the love shared one Christmas from a passing Gramma to her granddaugher. I love you Gramma.