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Remembering Christmas Past

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 18 December 2008 in Uncategorized

We are expecting a big snowstorm in Boston tomorrow, the first of the season, and so I have been remembering other snowstorms (including the surprise 26 inches one April Fool's Day!) but the one that stays in my mind the most was Christmastime in 1995.

My little granddaughter, Nadine, who lived in Germany with her mother (as she still does, though she is not LITTLE anymore) was flying to the states for Christmas.  Here she is, that fall, just around the time of her second birthday in late October.

Beanage2 Beaniedress
Two is not an easy age to travel with, but Margret was willing to do it, to spend Christmas with us, her first Christmas---all of our first Christmases---since my son, Margret's husband, had died the previous spring.

They flew from Frankfurt to New York's Kennedy Airport---an 8-hour flight---and arrived there in a snowstorm.  So their connecting plane to Boston was delayed and delayed and delayed.

At one point it took off, flew all the way to Boston, circled the airport here, and then, unable to land, returned to New York.

Margret called from Kennedy again and again with updates, far into the night, and then told us to go to bed and said she would try to curl up there in the gate area herself to rest.  At 4 AM the phone rang and it was Margret, not announcing that the plane was leaving, but just explaining that she wanted to hear my voice because she was feeling so sorry for herself. "I've been crying," she said; and I almost cried as well.

In the morning the skies cleared, the plane took off, and we went to the airport and picked her up. Poor Margret was absolutely exhausted, but the 2-year-old was bright and cheerful and chirpy as if life was completely normal.

Here she is, during that visit, in a photo I love and have never been able to figure out exactly the right caption for:

Bean Xmas '95 A Christmas long past.  A sad one, for all of us, but that lively little girl reminded us, as she has ever since, how life goes on, and how parents live on in their children---she has her father's easy smile and engaging personality.

Merry Christmas to her, and to her wonderful Mom, and to the memory of her dad.


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Guest
ojimenez Monday, 29 November 1999

What if it should turn out eternity
Was but the steeple on our house of life
That made our house of life a house of worship?
We do not go up there to sleep at night.
Nor need we ever go up there to live.
A spire and belfry coming on the roof
Means that a soul is coming on the flesh.
"A Steeple on the House"
STEEPLE BUSH by Robert Frost

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