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January 9, 2017 - Stacey Sacco
“Those you have loved deeply and who have died live on in you, not just as memories but as real presences.” - Henri Nouwen
Every year for Christmas, my mom would give her girls fuzzy socks. She loved warm things and wanted us to be comfortable too. I knew without a doubt that there would be bright, warm socks somewhere in the Christmas gifts.
And I knew this year there would be none. It was my mom’s special gift each year, her message that was to warm our hearts as well as our feet.
Although I cried through the store when I did it, I bought a pair of fuzzy socks for each of my sisters so they wouldn’t have a Christmas without this small treasure. I cried as I put them in boxes and I cried as I wrapped them in paper. But I wanted them to have socks for Christmas morning.
So when Christmas morning rolled around, I found myself opening a package from my husband that contained… fuzzy socks. Who would have imaged that he would not only remember, but make the connection that it would be meaningful to me to get them. Sometimes he’s very thoughtful like that. Cue the water works.
Later that day, when my kids were exchanging gifts with their cousins, I handed a small package to my sisters and got a small package in return. More fuzzy socks, more tears, more good memories.
Even my dad, who did not enjoying shopping for Christmas gifts on his own this year, included a pair of socks for each of us in the gifts for our family.
When it was all said and done, I had SEVEN new pairs of fuzzy socks. Seven little messages of love and memory.
I came across the quote at the beginning of the post shortly after my mom died. It’s something I have given quite a bit of thought to- that she is still a real and physical presence in my life. Sometimes it’s hard to believe. I go to the cemetery or my parent’s house and never have I thought, “Here she is. I feel her here.” But as strange as it may sound, a drawer full of brand new fuzzy socks is a physical manifestation of my mom. I feel her presence in those silly things. The part of her that lives on inside each of her kids is visible in that sock-rainbow.
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