Looking back, I see it had the potential to be the worst Christmas any of us has ever had. Here's why:
1) My mom had pretty serious surgery on December 22nd. It was painful, messy and very unpleasant.
2) It was the first Christmas my mother and father had spent together in over 20 years.
3) My grandmother died a few months ago, and Christmas is kind of a bitch about those things: she saunters into town and just rubs it in, you know?
4) Years ago, my dad and my apartment building burned to the ground on Christmas day. You see what I mean about Christmas being a bit of an asshole?
But for some reason, all of us were totally optimistic about our little Christmas brunch. At least I was. I like to think that helped make it as lovely as it was. Because it really was just perfect.
My mom made it through, by the grace of Percoset and Bloody Mary. She and my dad got along smashingly, and were just wonderful. And Dad and I tiptoed through the day, making it special in our own little way. I got boxes of oranges and grapefruit from Florida, just like Grandma Sally used to do. Dad brought a massage gift certificate (best present in the world, by the way) and a Kurt Vonnegut* book I haven't read.
which are sometimes the best kinds of things.
*A long time ago, Dad, our dog Shucks and I shared a stage with Kurt Vonnegut. Shucks sang, Mr. Vonnegut rapped and it was just about the coolest thing ever.