Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Organ

What is it about Christmas Eve that brings on memories of Christmas's past? As I was driving down the road today, I was thinking about the Christmas's of my youth, when my family was still whole and I was oblivious to the fact that bad things really could (and would) happen to me.

My father used to tuck me up in bed at night and say my prayers with me. I can remember that I hated kneeling on the hard, cold floor to say my prayers before getting into bed and I can remember wondering why a loving God would want us to be so uncomfortable? Still, I enjoyed those quiet times with my Dad.

When I was about 10, I had a little, orange, toy organ. I would strike the keys and attempt to make music. On one such evening, I played my little organ for my father as he looked tolerantly on. When I was done, he asked me if I enjoyed playing. I told him that I did, even though I wasn't really very good. He looked at me thoughtfully and asked me if I would be willing to give up my little orange organ to a child that didn't have any toys at all. Even though I didn't really want to give it up, I thought how terrible I would feel if I didn't have any toys at all. So I reluctantly told him that I would be willing after all.

The next day, my little orange organ disappeared, and while I was sad, it made me happy to know that another little girl or boy would find joy in it and love it as much as I did. Days passed and then weeks. I thought about my organ, but less and less over time, and then came the busy bustle of the holiday season. I was soon caught up in the Jesse tree at school ( a favorite tradition ), cookie baking and all that Christmas brings. Finally, after what seemed like waiting forever, Christmas eve finally came! It was so hard to wait all day until the next morning to see if Santa Claus would really come.

My Grandmother was visiting us, and while she was there she slept in my room. I was moved into the spare twin bed in my older sisters room. I actually liked being in her room, she told the most wonderful stories when the humor was on her, so this was just fine by me! That night, I went to bed early, as I did every Christmas Eve. Late that night though, I was awakened by a very loud noise! Could it be Santa Claus?

Well, the answer was YES .... and no. I heard my Dad and his best friend Mo laughing and carrying on together as they always did. There was a lot of moving around and banging - as if they were carrying something very heavy into the house. They shared a few beers from my Dad's tap before Moe headed back out into the snow. Eventually, I went back to sleep dreaming sweet dreams of the next morning...

When I woke up, we went downstairs to open our Christmas presents, and there, in the corner of our living room was the most beautiful, full sized organ that I had ever seen. My parents told me that it was from Santa Claus and I never let them know that I heard Dad and Moe bringing the organ into the house. It didn't matter, because it meant so much more to me knowing that it was really a gift from my parents.

He got me lessons and I learned to play. He used to sit for hours and listen to me, even though, especially at first, I wasn't very good. I still have my organ. It sits in my own living room now, mainly quiet, but every now and again I play it and think of my Dad. I wish he was here and I could play it for him again....


Rural Writer said...

I bawled my eyes out reading this! I am such a sentimental person anyway and reading this brought a very special Christmas memory to mind. Both my parents are dead now and the gift of that memory that you gave me was the best christmas present I got this year. Thanks Snow. Love you lady!