Ode to an Ornament

UntitledLittle ornament, I sometimes think of you on the warmest days of summer, waiting silently and patient in your storage box of red. You quietly guard so many memories beneath your glassy wings.

The day we brought you home, my mom and me, we found you hanging from a needled branch on a department store christmas tree.  The music piped, the lights twinkled, and we saw you dangling there.  We laughed at your tiny feet, your silly eyes, and eggshell hat.  My mother said, “It looks so fragile, I don’t suppose it will last a year.  But it’s so silly I think we need to get it, don’t you?”  I emphatically agreed as the saleswoman wrapped each of the ornaments we had chosen in layers of tissue and placed them in a bag.

Every year as you emerged from your ball of crumpled paper, Mom would exclaim with delight that you had made it one more year. And every year so far, you have.  Do you remember the year we brought you up to the cabin in Wisconsin?  You swayed nervously on the feeble bough of a tree so small we tied it to the window to keep it standing.

You’ve survived toppling trees, wagging tails, and even curious toddlers. You’ve seen the birth of many grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.  You’ve seen tears of joy and laughter.  And you’ve seen the tears of remembrance.

You see, you never know when you’ll open a box and the thing you find most precious is broken beyond repair.  And everything it ever was will remain only in the heart of those who love it.

Thank you for reminding me, especially at this time of year, that life is fragile and fleeting and to cherish my loved ones with all my heart while they are within the reach of my loving arms.

Peace . . .

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About Jean

Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it. View all posts by Jean

4 responses to “Ode to an Ornament

  • insearchofitall

    Life is fragile. And somehow, that is an important element. You did a superb job of explaining that. I so enjoy your writing and have never, ever, seen an ornament like that one. So unique in every way. And so, today marks the beginning of the Christmas season. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

    • Jean

      Happy Holidays! I’m sitting at a coffee shop listening to “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” singing overhead. The first real snow fell on Thanksgiving Day here. We are certainly in the season!

      • Jean

        I wrote this a while back and scheduled it to come out on Thanksgiving. I just re-read it today, and realized how timely it is. My ex-brother-in-law died in his sleep yesterday morning. He was a good man, and on my short list of favorite people. He was much too young with a brand new grand-baby. Life is so fragile.

      • insearchofitall

        Happy Holidays to you as well. I have my player ready to sound out Mannheim Steamroller as my daughter and I bake Christmas cookies. My son makes sure they taste just right. We usually get rain or ice for Christmas. Snow on the rarest of occasions. Once the lights go up, it’s officially the holiday season. 🙂

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