I'm a sap

I'm a sap.

If you have read this blog for very long, this is probably not news to you. After all, mosts of my posts contain come sort of story about my experiences in life, whether that story is the focus of my writing or anecdotal in the latest chapter. I have been told I have a story for everyting, and I love being known as that guy. After all, my Mom was a story teller. I get that from her. Not the only thing she passed to me though.

She was a sap too.

This time of the year is a little tough for me.  It was during this time, 8 years ago, that we spent our last days with my Mom. And while this by far has been the best Christmas season since that happened, what with Little Red getting on the transplant list and all, I still have my moments of sappiness, wishing she could be here now. One of those happened tonight

Tiffany asked if we could go for a drive to look at Christmas lights. She hadn't been out all day as she wasn't feeling great, so I was happy to oblige. We jumped in the car, put Christmas music on the radio, and cruised around Gahanna for awhile, oohing and aahing at the beautiful displays.

As we drove, the song Merry Christmas Darling by the Carpenters came on the radio. The sap in me went back to a time, 10 years ago or so, at a little house on the other side of town. My Mom, in a santa hat, singing her favorite Christmas song as she was baking in her newly remodeled kitchen. With that memory in my head, I pointed my car to the other end of town.

When I turned onto Theori Avenue, I was impressed with the light displays. Lining both sides of the road, they lit up my childhood neighborhood like something out of a commercial. I smiled, remembering mornings at the bus stop and legendary games of elephant ball. Then we got to their house.

It's not like we had huge light displays and blow up characters on the lawn. Heck, it took many years for my Dad to even allow my Mom to put lights on the house. But I remember that year well. He surprised her by having my brother in law trim the gutters with white lights while they were on the Cape. She was so excited when they returned home and she saw them. And the lights were a regular fixture every holiday season after as long as they lived there.

But there were no lights on the house tonight.

I know it's not their home anymore. The paver driveway and room addition behind the garage are proof that someone else lives there and had made it their own. And while I respect that, the lack of Christmas lights caused me to declare that they did not deserve my Mother's house.

Childish? Yeah, probably. But I miss having her here. Actually, I miss having them here. All of them. Mom who has passed. Ang and her family who live in Central Illinois with my Dad. Josh being somewhere between Here and Kentucky and never coming around. I miss them all. Having them 5 minutes away. I miss the Sunday lunches and swapping babysitting and Christmases on Theori.

We spent yesterday in Fairfield, Ohio. My mother's siblings, my Papaw and grandma, and most of my family was there. And while my Sister and Dad got iced in at home in Illinois, we still had a wonderful time. 42 of us in all. Swapping stories and remembering the ones who weren't there. It was a reminder that, even though I cannot pick up the phone and call her or visit my Mom 5 minutes away, she is still a huge part of my life.

Day # 1387. So maybe the lack of lights on her house aren't such a big deal. Still, if I ever get the chance, I am buying that house and leaving lights on it all year round.
Just the sap in me I guess.

It is good to be me


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