Tonight after work, I picked up a big brown box from Em & Kev's house. It was filled, I knew, with prezzies from the West Coast—our sister Hannah wrapped them with care and shipped them off to arrive just in time for Christmas.
When I got home, I place the cardboard box untouched by the Christmas tree. I let it sit there while we cooked and ate dinner, while we did some things around the house. But finally, when Col relegated me to the living room for some personal time, I sat face to face with the cardboard box.
So, I decided to open it up.
I cut into the tape on the top and let the flaps fall open. Inside the box, Hannah was everywhere—she was in the beautiful wrapping paper, the artfully placed ribbons, the intricate hand-cut tags and graceful writing.
I felt my eyes begin to tear. I miss her. I do. I wish she could be here for Christmas, to see my ring and to be here when Baby Kouri arrives.
I pulled out one thoughtfully wrapped gift after another, and as I carefully peeled away the bubble wrap and blew off the packing peanuts, I felt somebody else's presence in that box, too: Mama Sonia.
Mama Sonia always used to send us boxes filled to the brim with prezzies, wrapped in luxurious papers, labeled with embossed stickers advertising the local gallery or special boutique where she bought them. She was always so thoughtful with her gift-giving. So thoughtful with the presentation. The whole package, which always included a Harrington's ham, smoked turkey breast and a huge round of Stilton cheese.
Hannah, you reminded me of Mama Sonia tonight and I felt like both of you were with me by the Christmas tree—the tree that witnessed Col's proposal, the tree that was felled in a fit of love and bliss. Now you (your prezzies) are posing prettily under it. And Mama Sonia (her hand-stiched angel) is perched at the tippy top. And the Harrington ham is chilling in my fridge (Poopy, I just read your blog about the chicken, so I know you can especially appreciate this point!)
You're here in spirit. xoxo