You never think you'll forget, you never think you'll forget these moments, these small everyday moments that make up the jigsaw of who we are. Those Christmases, I cherished them, waited for them with anticipation, not just for Christmas Eve but for the days of laughter and togetherness with my Grandparents that would follow.
You never think that you'll forget.
Waking up on Christmas morning and climbing onto my brothers bed, "He's been, he's been", emptying the stockings and then trying to cram everything back inside before going into our parents room, desperately trying to act surprised by every small toy and chocolate we had already seen. You never think you'll forget.
What about the rest of the pieces?
How I would love to go back and collect a few to add to make a clearer picture in my mind. The small moments, not just at Christmas, but of life. Looking at photos and knowing it is just a snapshot of the life that started before, and continued after, the shutter opened and closed.
You never think you'll forget that those people were your home, your safety, your whole heart.
You remember the saddest and most joyful of times because it's all we can think about, we are present in them because they are so loud., we all want our picture to have more light and shade to it than that.
As a parent I now watch my own children, now young people, they never think they'll forget. As they come into our room, talking, moving, full of opinions, hopes, dreams and teenage pain., are they already beginning to question, question those moments that have already left us, yet have left their mark?
As I sit looking at a pile of wrapped presents, my familiar 'TV' log fire crackling and lighting the room with a warm glow, getting ready to start this years Christmas book, I'm wondering the same again. For 19 years my Christmases and life have been filled with the love for my child, then children. For 19 years I have treasured, mothered, nurtured and cherished, but now I see it changing again, as new pieces leave the puzzle. A different picture but similar gaps. My whole adult life has been spent building their picture only for me to lose some of the pieces.
Difficult memories remain, and this year we have all faced new challenges, I want to help them to remember the year as a whole, not just for all the bad that's existed in the world, but for all the smaller more subtle moments.
Jigsaws are made and then dismantled, put away until we choose to re-build, but unlike a jigsaw the picture we hold still exists; if not in our memories then in our hearts. In who we are, in how we make others feel. My world is still here, it's changing, but I choose to be present in it. I choose to take the mental snapshots so that I am able to help them to complete their own puzzles in years to come.
It is a wonderful, blessed, precious life, be present in it.