Sunday, December 18, 2011

Twas the Night Before the Week Before Christmas

And I wonder which song they're going to play when we go
I hope it's something quiet, mannered, peaceful, and slow
When we float out into the ether into the everlasting arms
I hope we don't hear Marley's chains we forged in life

I find myself filled with a bit more of the Christmas spirit today than I did yesterday. Last night Margaret and I took a ride down to Princeton to take in McCarter Theatre's production of "A Christmas Carol". Last year we saw it for the first time and so enjoyed the experience that as soon as McCarter sent me the promotional e-mail for this year's edition, which I think they did back in August, I purchased our tickets.

In the couple of years since her mom died, this time of year has been a decidedly mixed bag emotionally for my bride. It is not uncommon - if I happen to catch a glimpse of her when she is unaware of my glimpsing - to see in her eyes the battle that is still being waged in her heart and in her head. Christmas was among my mother-in-law's favorite times of the year because she had the people she loved the most gathered together in one place. Even if it was just for a moment, it was a moment capable of producing memories that last a lifetime.

Margaret has taken on the role of being the family's emotional center since Suzy B.'s death. While she has filled those big shoes without seeming to miss a beat, I have borne witness to the toll it has taken and shall continue to take upon her.

Which is why a night such as last night is so important for Margaret and for me. An evening spent doing something that my bride is reticent to do, which is doing something for herself. It is my sincere hope that for as long as McCarter puts on its production and for as long as we are able to get to Princeton to enjoy it, what has been a highlight of this Christmas season and last year's as well will continue to be a "date" that we make and that we keep....

....well into the days of Christmases yet to come.


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