girafferty: (klimt)
[personal profile] girafferty
It was cold and rainy today. I wish it could be a little colder so the rain would be snow. It doesn't feel like Advent without it.

Thinking of Christmas makes me think of this being the first time in 20 years that Uncle Jim won't have a stocking at my parents' house. As Dad said at Thanksgiving, when people leave you, they leave you a little at a time. There's no one for my Dad to call up and compare times on the Friday NY Times crossword now, there were too many leftovers at Thanksgiving and no uncles to send them home to, my Mom chiding them to remember to bring back the plastic containers!

I went through two boxes of his books that I brought back from NY. It made me remember him, going through all his volumes on Mary Pickford, and the 14 Bibles he had.

I want to share the letter I read at Uncle Jim's memorial service.  He wrote this to me when I was 7.

My Pretty Megan,

    How are you?
  How does my little miss go?
If you are well, then I'm well, too,
  well off in San Francisco.

When I came home the other night
  I got your happy letter.
It was so kind of you to write
  And ask me "How's the weather?"

You asked me, "Is there any snow?
  six, seven, or eight inches?"
And I'm afraid the answer's "no".
  I'm very sorry, Princess.

I'm sad to say it never snows--
  Not even in December!
And why it doesn't no one knows,
  Or no one can remember.

But what good's snow?  For when it melts
  See then what your snowball weighs?
I have no snow, but something else
  That I can have for always.

I have green plates, a yellow knife,
  a red spoon, and a blue fork.
now, have you ever in your life
  seen such things in Clay, New York?

I have a cloud bowl that I take
  To mix bright stars and egg in,
So I can make an angel cake
  for angels like my Megan.

I'll make you one today, Sweet Miss,
  Miss Sweetest-of-All-Misses;
I'll warm it in my heart, stirred with
  A dozen hundred kisses

And just to make it special, just
  to make my niece a nice thing,
I'll top it off with rainbow dust
  and sugared snow flake icing.

And I will send it to my niece
  Upon this sun's last few beams,
So when it rises in the east
  You'll find it in your new dreams.

Till then, take care of your sweet self,
  my dear and darling Megan,
and dress up warm. (Does Mommy help
you put your arm and leg in?)

Good-bye, good-bye for now at least,
  and may God smile above you,
my own snow angel of a niece

And may God always love you!

             -Uncle Jim

Then, on the back of the envelope he wrote.
Now Megan dear,
be sure to wear
A glad face and a glad dress;
And write me here
again this year.
Please note the change of address!

Date: 2012-12-07 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh my, what a wonderful uncle he was! Wish we all had uncles like that. So sweet!

Date: 2012-12-09 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He sure loved all his nieces and nephews and made us feel special.

Date: 2012-12-07 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That is so sweet :).

Date: 2012-12-07 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's possibly the sweetest thing ever.

It's really true about people leaving you a little at a time. My grandmother always made the Christmas fruitcake (which was delicious--I never understood fruitcake jokes because Grandma's was so good), and my mom has to try her hand at the recipe this year because Grandma isn't here to make it. Grandma was too sick to make it last year, but she was still here--we knew it wouldn't be for long, but we could at least lie to ourselves and pretend that she'd be her fruitcake-making self again this year. Mom even bought a storebought fruitcake instead of trying the recipe, because there was no point in learning it when she wouldn't need to know it this year. We can't pretend that anymore.

Date: 2012-12-09 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so sorry. The first year is the hardest, with all the first times missing.

Date: 2012-12-08 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aww, how very sweet.

This is our first Christmas without my grandmother and it kinda stings.

Date: 2012-12-09 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The holidays are the hardest time.

Date: 2012-12-08 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That is a lovely poem.

Date: 2012-12-09 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He had a real gift with words.

Date: 2012-12-11 11:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You write such lovely tributes about him, such a gift. Hugs to you and yours.


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