December 25th 2015


Wafts of cinnamon and pine greet me as the door blows open.

A jolt to the legs, and I see John’s little arms wrapped around my knees.

Carrying him back to the living room,

We pass under a branch of mistletoe,

John smiles a toothless grin and kisses me on the cheek.


I suddenly enter into a whirlwind of Italian sayings and phrases,

Shouted to sisters and brothers from across the kitchen to the living room.

The Christmas Song provides a soundtrack to the various voices.
I am comforted by the familiar chaos, I had missed it.


I spot Nanny in front of the oven, glazing the golden turkey.

“Happy Holidays, Sweetie”

She hands me a piece of gingerbread,

I happily accept,

And my taste buds welcome the spicy sensation.


The green plaid chair sits empty in the corner for the first time since I can remember.

Walking past baby Paige, taking some of her first steps to Madeline,

I rest into the depressions formed over years of Redskin football games,

Years of glasses of red after dinner,

And years of young grandchildren on his lap.


Dinner is called, and one by one the dining room fills to the brim.

It’s the first Christmas since.

We pass around his wine glass,

Each taking a sip, and whispering a prayer.

Lucy Farrell

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