Friday, December 16, 2011

christmas memories

It was the last day of school before a long,luscious winter break.The chorus that I was part of assembled in the gym.We were up on a wooden slatted stage facing the gym floor.One by one, the classes in my grammar school came in, each in orderly single file, to the stage where our pastor was giving out holy cards and boxes of hard candy as small gifts.

I thought of this when I heard Dolly Parton singing,"A Hard Candy Christmas." Those candies,multi-colored ,were really hard to eat.Some had gooey centers,others tasted like sickeningly sweet root beer.But nothing could dampen my spirit.We were singing Christmas Carol after wonderful Carol.Toward the end of the singing,I turned and looked out the long glass windows.I beheld the most wonderful sight for a 12 year old. Huge,wet snow falling at a deliriously fast rate and soon we would go home to frolic.Pure joy in my heart.

Later,in 1961, when I was a senior in High School,our glee club went to Mercy Hospital in Rockville Center to sing Carols for the staff and patients.We assembled in the Lobby near the decorated tree and sang our hearts out.In the Lobby , the hospital was raffling off a Nativity set and for twenty-five cents a chance, I scrounged up fifty cents and bought two.As I fill out the stub and placed mine in the full box,I knew that the set was mine.I knew it.

Two nights later, a call brought me back to the hopsital to pick up the set.I felt so blessed that night,for the set and the mystery of the knowing.

Thirty years later,it happened again.As I was going out of my driveway one morning in Georgia, my next door neighbor came over quickly and asked if I was going to church.I said that I was and she, with tears, asked for prayers for another neighbor who was delivering her third child that day.She and her husband had lost a two year old girl to heart problems and this new baby, a son ,was in distress.As I drove, I prayed and then as if a soft hand had been placed on my shoulder,comforting, I knew that all would be well with little Scooter.He is now a grown, hard working man with three children and indeed , all is well with him.

I am in awe of Christmas and Mystery.

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