I got that text today from my friend Emma who was killing time at a job that is killing her spirit.
I started to take a moment to text her back and then realized that it was too long to text plus - it wasn't a memory.
It's a story, in fact.
When I was very little my grandfather took me to get a Christmas tree.
We returned with our tree and everyone was horrified. It was a tiny short tree. His reason? He chose one that I could touch the top of.
That was my grandfather's last Christmas. And I have no memory of this event. It breaks my heart, but like all things in kid world - if it isn't IMPORTANT or if no one shakes you and says GRANDPA IS SICK REMEMBER EVERY SECOND OF THIS your little brain doesn't absorb the memories.
I remember the time he took me to work with him, when he was the county building inspector, and that we went to Just Rite for lunch and I had a chocolate shake with burger and fries. I remember the way his pipe smelled, and that he'd smoke cigarettes outside once in a while but not really that often in the house. I remember the smoked Dutch Masters because I'd use the boxes to hold crayons. I remember everything, sometimes it seems. But I do not remember that tree.
There are no pictures because it was the 70s and we didn't take pictures of every damn thing the way we do now. I wish we had. I would love to see such a short fat little tree.
You never know what holiday will be your last with someone who means everything to you. I suppose that IS why I take hundreds of pictures of everything carving them all into my mind - and recording them so that even when I am the one no longer here, someone can see them and know what they are.
My favorite Christmas memory is the one I've lost. I'm sorry Grandpa.