For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
–From “Little Gidding” by T. S. Eliot
Last week I wrote my TToT list, like I’ve done for nearly every week, for months now. I found ten things to be thankful for, as always, but I did preface my list with a list of three things I had to complain about. Christmas wasn’t all merriment and joy for me.
But then there’s this, there’s them. This song I include because I know how much I still have to be thankful for, not least the way the children in my life help me see certain things in a new light.
If I can’t see Christmas lights like I used to, or colours so bright, I am grateful for the little children who teach me to appreciate the beauty of the world.
My niece’s birthday cupcakes had designs of rainbows, hearts, and sunshines on them. These are the things she loves to draw lately. They are what make me feel like there is just a tiny bit of me inside of her, as those are the things I loved to draw when I was her age, back when I could see enough and loved colouring and bright colours.
I see myself in her sometimes, the little girl I once was, and I feel a little less afraid. Thanks goes to my cousin for the amazing cupcakes, as always.
For a second Christmas. A do-over if you will, with three amazing little people and the best family a girl could ask for.
Of course, there was nothing really wrong with the first one. I finally got to give my nephew the talking oven I’d been dying to give him and he loved it. Best part of Christmas Eve.
However, then I fell asleep with a headache, missing out on watching A Christmas Carol with my father, our little December 25th tradition.
Christmas number two was three days, after Boxing Day, with my brother and his wife and their two children. We all get together, at my parent’s house, and do Christmas on our own time.
For a spur-of-the-moment Sunday night trip to the movies, (to see the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens), with my two brothers.
I loved it. It was an awesome escape from reality for a couple hours.
I was not born yet, to witness the craze of the first Star Wars, back in 1977, so I probably don’t have the same attachment to what it was like when it first came out in theatres.
All I know is I liked the characters, the action, and the fact that I saw it all unfolding with my brothers. A few weeks ago now I wasn’t seeing any movie with Brian. Now here we all were.
For another excellent movie narration, by an expert in the art of movie describing.
I really need to write a letter. I really see no reason, in 2015/16, that all movie theatres don’t have audio descriptive track for the visually impaired.
I know it’s a small town movie theatre, with few people in need, but there are still some, me included. With all the technology we have, it’s possible, and I shouldn’t have to worry about what movie to go to, not feeling I can’t see a specific film, say if I were on a date.
My older brother is well practiced, after being the one to do it for my younger brother and me since we were little, but most people don’t know how to describe a movie. It isn’t something to come naturally to most people.
For my brother’s home electronics knowledge.
I haven’t had much in home audio for a while now. When my ex left, I told him I didn’t need the flat screen television, and that he should take it, that I could get by with an old television for the time.
This meant that the surround sound system I’d purchased, when we started dating, was sitting unused, but since I was the one who bought it, I kept it. I assumed I would use it again, at some juncture.
Well, I finally have the chance. I required help to set it up again. My brother came over and got it working for me.
For Canadian healthcare and a card to access it.
I resisted having to get the new, updated card, for as long as I possibly could. Finally, I couldn’t resist any longer and got my photo taken, waiting for the card to arrive in the mail.
Well, it came the other day and I know I am lucky to live in Canada, to have the access to all the medical attention I might ever need, of which I very likely will at some point. That little card is my ticket.
For my brother, who continues to become his old self, a little more everyday and for the beautiful music he still makes.
His language and memory are growing stronger all the time and I have him back. I’d feared that I’d lost him forever, in the way that he might never again be who he was. I was afraid we wouldn’t continue to have the connection we’ve always shared, that we could no longer have the talks we used to have. It’s a Christmas miracle. I don’t care what anyone else says.
At one point, during Christmas Part Two, my uncle came over with a guitar and his recorder. The two of them started to play and we all started to cry.
It was the best sound in the world, hearing my brother play the guitar, when we weren’t sure he ever would again.
The above song doesn’t fit the scene, but I will forever think of it when I remember this next thankful on my list.
For the birth of a beautiful little girl, her existence, and the sunshine she’s brought to my family’s lives for these last five years.
I will never forget the night of New Year’s Eve, 2010 and celebrating, alone, in the kitchen of the house I was living in at the time.
It was just me, pizza, and wine, toasting the birth of my brother’s first child, my parent’s first grandchild, and my introduction into the best title ever: of Auntie Kerry. I couldn’t wait to get back to my family, to meet my niece for the very first time.
She has made the world a much brighter place, these last five years. She is smart and funny. She is so sharp. She keeps us all on our toes. We are constantly surprised by what she knows and what she thinks and what she says.
For one more perfect visit with my friend and her baby girl.
It was a chance to ring in 2016 with Chinese food, chocolate cake, and The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story.
For the fun of watching said unauthorized story with my old friend. She explained the wild outfits of the early 90s and the ways the actors playing the 90210 characters did or did not look like the real people they were said to be portraying.
It was highly amusing and entertaining. It was a surprise discovery, as we were looking around the television for something else to watch, other than all the to-be-expected New Year’s Eve countdown specials. We had fun, while my friend’s baby girl slept nearby. She wasn’t really old enough to watch, but my friend and I had fun discussing our memories of those days of 90210. It was my favourite show and this unauthorized movie was a fun way to spend the last few hours of one of the best years in recent memory.
Plus, in the morning I got to keep a sweet little girl company, while her mother got dressed, had something to eat, and packed up to leave.
They are gone now, back to Ireland, and I will miss them very much, but I got to have one last visit with them both. I will never forget that.
RIP Natalie Cole
“I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words – how wonderful life is, now you’re in the world.”