Ghost of Christmas past…

It happened a long time ago,
Yet I’m quite sure of the date.
The year our family went from 5 to 4,
It was 1958.

Our dog Spitz, Larry & me, months before Larry died, 1958…

Larry had been snatched from us,
After 12 years on this earth.
I didn’t fully comprehend,
But had loved him since my birth.

Though I was only seven,
Life would never be the same.
For Larry was now up in heaven,
The year Santa Claus never came.

West side of Rock Valley, 1954. Me, Larry & Spitz…

Our house grew oh so quiet,
Larry always picked out our Christmas tree.
But Mom and Dad weren’t alone in their grief,
Shared with me and Mona Lee.

The laughter all but disappeared,
The spark from our family was gone.
We seemed to shrink within ourselves,
Everything said to each other was wrong.

Dad, Mom, me & Mona (pregnant) in 1961…

The years sped by, some sadness left,
Mona got married and I grew up.
Grandchildren were born, smiles reappeared
Our family wasn’t as lost as I feared.

The family of the boy I loved,
Knew Christmas should be shared.
Mag cooked all their favorites, plus tassies & fudge,
Comfort food to show me they cared.

Ed, Mona, Brian & Brent in 1965…

They celebrated on Christmas Eve,
With family, food and fun.
After gifts were exchanged and eating was done,
Midnight Mass to praise the birth of the Son.

I grew to love Christmas-when we had kids of our own.
Simple ornaments made with their little hands
Fillled with pride for all to see.
Still have the highest priority-upon our Christmas tree.

Christmas 1985…

You might not think about it much,
But traditions are being made.
That doesn’t mean there’s no room for change,
But the groundwork has been laid.

After our kids grew up, we had to allow
The in-laws to have a say.
Of when they choose to spend some time,
At our house and away.

My tree doesn’t change much anymore,
The ornament total is high.
No themes, no rhyme or reason
Just celebrate our Christmas season.

Still adding stockings since this picture, 2014…

I miss our hearth and mantle,
Stockings hung near our neat lake shore.
Now displayed on a goofy curtain rod
On top of the patio door.

I’m more sentimental, the older I get,
My Christmas’s left are numbered.
My throat gets tight when I reminisce
The tears come frequent and quick.

Our own family of five in 1982…

I’m grateful to God who lets me stay,
On earth for yet another day.
I try my best to make them count
Being good, being kind and to pray.

I think about my past a lot,
Messed up Gerritson’s we’d become
Larry, Mom & Dad-now Mona too,
From a family of 5-down to one…

We were happy at Lake Okoboji in 1957…

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