The Holidays
By B. Gallatin
Published: November 21, 2010
Updated: November 21, 2010

 

 

The Holidays

The holidays are here again
A time when we remember
Those friends and loved ones
We miss so much
Their place at the table empty
Of their physical presence
Yet their spirit attends
Alive in our thoughts
Those yester-years roll on
In the mind, those good moments
When we were children
Like a collage of video snips
Disjointed, only held together
By a pervading feeling of love
Laughter, warmth and belonging
The men sitting on the porch
Smoking and talking about politics
The underlying theme, the war
Those videos are in black and white
The women in the kitchen
Chopping, preparing side dishes
They laugh as they gossip
Telling family stories
Sometimes in a whisper
Followed by raucous laughter
Those videos are in bright color
The whole house is filled
With the aroma of the turkey
We children are thankful
Our cousins our age are there
Otherwise we'd be bored to death
Quickly we exhaust the board games
Disallowed to go out and play
We are dressed in our finest clothes
New shoes bought for the occasion
Soon we are running in the house
Playing tag, quickly one or more
Women are yelling, "Stop the running"
Some of us whine, "Why-eee!"
That plea is answered with
"Somebody needs a nap"
Then a very pretty older cousin
Offers to read us a story
If we can sit still and listen
Eagerly we gather in the living room
She begins reading aloud, saving us
Before the story is finished
It's time to eat
There is no place at the table
So we kids sit at makeshift tables
The blessing is spoken
We kids are reminded that children
Are to be seen not heard
It was the same scene for years
Until one by one the elders passed away
Their place at the table was filled
With the newest adult members of the family
Finally I had a seat at the big table
As the years went by my position changed
I got closer to the head of table
As more and more people passed on
Now I'm 67 years old and everyone's senior
I'm at the head of the table
I'm wondering, How did I get here?
Life is going by so fast now
I'm asking myself
Where did all of the years go?
If I sit still, squint and think hard
The memories flood my mind
I relive those fleeting moments
I conjure up, disjointed they may be
But the feelings of love, warmth, belonging
And the laughter from the kitchen
I can hear it now
Those thoughts will see me through
Knowing I will be a memory
In the mind of my wife and children
I hope Im in color.