When I was a little girl, during one of the two brief stints that my family and I spent living in Brooksville, Florida, my mother and I discovered a beautiful, wondrous place called The Christmas House. It was a collection of five Victorian-era houses, all bought by one family, and coverted into a business. Each house had a theme, and all the themes centered around Christmas. I cannot possibly describe to you the beauty, the wonder, of the house that contained spun glass decorations and miniature china dolls outfitted to be hung on a tree, or the home-spun delight of the house that featured calico stuffed animals and wooden decorations. It was a magical place, especially for a ten-year-old.
Yesterday, I thought about The Christmas House, which I hadn't done in years, and decided to look it up online. To my horror and sorrow, I discovered it had to close in 2010. For a moment, I felt almost as if I had lost my mother (who died in January of this year) all over again. And then a tidal wave of memories flooded over me, the delightful little ways that Mom and I used to spend our precious weekend free time together--going to libraries, going to The Christmas House in June, swimming, laughing, eating at our favorite restaurants. I spent a few minutes enjoying the memories of some of my favorite times with each of my parents, both gone now.
Sometimes, my sorrow and grief feel as if they will suffocate me. But then I am rescued by memory, and find the strength to try and build sweet memories with my own little girl. May she remember as many golden days as I do.
|Photo of Rogers' Christmas House Village|
Courtesy of Joshua P. Hanoud