Perhaps somewhere in a different time we share Christmas day together. You bring your family. We share tales of growing up separately but bound by blood. Perhaps it begins an annual tradition of meeting and exchanging gifts and sharing each other’s lives.
Meanwhile in a different realm I bring home a special guest. We laugh at the repeats on the TV and bicker over Brussel sprouts.
Later after you’ve had a glass or two and your pipe you fall asleep in the armchair, your cracker hat slightly askew as you snore gently . I look at you and think “when did you get old?”. I remember you carrying me up the stairs to bed in your arms when I fell asleep downstairs. So strong then but now you resemble an old comfy arm chair yourself. The children look at you and giggle. I shush them anxious not to stress the fragile brokered Christmas peace.
In still another time, she is there. Laughing with the children, making merry with the sherry. Making us scream with laughter at her awful charade reenactments. I dream she has had a happy life, a life of peace and wishes fulfilled.
Lastly in another Christmas I bounce upon my knee a little one. I can see their tiny fingers and their rosebud mouth. They look at their siblings, desperate to join in the fun and excitement. “Soon” I tell them. “Soon you’ll be old enough”.
This Christmas will be a happy one. We have lots of blessings to be grateful for. We love our little family. I won’t feel anything amiss.
But sometimes I wish the ghosts of Christmas past would collide.