Christmas Memories

 Okay, so it’s a bit out of season.  But this can’t wait.  Whitney’s class is apparently studying poetry, and she had to write and recite a poem for class.  I didn’t know anything about it until last week she asked me on the way home from Church if I wanted to hear the poem she wrote about the day Aunt Becky died.  Um…no, not really.  Not while I’m driving – it’s hard to drive when you’re crying.  Last night I remembered to ask her about it again.

In December 2005, just a couple of days before Christmas, my sister passed away in her sleep.  We weren’t terribly close, and she didn’t spend a lot of time with my kids.  But apparently they remember a lot about her.   (A teeny bit of setup here: I was gone to Wal-Mart that morning to get a new battery for my car; the kids were still home getting ready for school when Chuck called Debbie with the news).  Here’s what Whitney remembers: 


Those happy Christmas memories.

Ring!  Ring!

Could it be Grandpa?  Or Megan?

Ring!  Ring!

No.  It’s not Grandpa to tell us he’s coming for Christmas.

Or Megan to invite me for a sleepover.

It’s Uncle Chuck.

“Hello?” Momma answers.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she says like it’s a limp dog she can’t help.

She hangs up the phone and starts to cry.

“What’s the matter?” I ask.  She doesn’t tell.

“What is it?” Mikayla insists.

She looks up.  You can tell she’s cried.

“Your Aunt Becky died.”

How would we tell Dad ‘bout his only sibling?

Those sad Christmas memories.


Maybe it’s because she’s my child, but I just find it incredible that this is written by a 12-year old.  Whitney is a writer – always writing stories, keeping a journal, and stuff like this.  You might ought to get in line for autographs now.


About Joe

Writing on the things I'm passionate about: my family, my faith, and my work. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “Christmas Memories

  • Bonnie Anderson

    I’m in line.
    She did a good job.
    I remember, as a child, being on the listening end of a phone call my mother received when my cousin was killed. It can really make an impression on you at a young age.
    I am glad that she was able to express her thoughts in her poem.

  • Remembering Mom « Parapet Safety

    […] no telling when it will come, but someday I expect we’ll be getting another poem from Whitney.  My dad called on Saturday morning and simply said “Mama’s gone.”  I wanted to […]

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