I'm back in Canada at my dad's (don't even ask about the trip back - I'm not ready to talk about that yet! garrrgh!)
The house my father now lives in is one he moved into only a few years ago, long after I had moved away. The house itself may not have a long history for me, but it certainly holds one. From my maternal grandmother's gorgeous wardrobe in my bedroom, to the boxes of books I read as a child, and all the other bits and pieces that my family of packrats have kept over the years.
One of my favourite things to do when I am here is to go through old photo albums. Sometimes I look through my parents' wedding photos, or my baby albums. Other times I look through the albums I made of my summers spent working in the Canadian Rockies or of my exchange to Japan.
With the number of times I've moved, you'd think I'd be good at moving on and starting afresh. But I've always hated goodbyes, and when I start looking at old photographs the first thing that I think about is the people that are no longer in my life. The family members who are not here to share the holidays, the friends I've lost touch with, or those with whom staying in touch was just too painful or awkward or difficult for one reason or another.
It is this last group of people in particular that I've been thinking about recently. I worry (I inherited my paternal grandmother's highly developed worry gene) about them and wonder how they are, hoping that wherever they are they are happy (and that maybe, just maybe, they occasionally think about me?). Today I got a holiday email greeting from one of them - an old friend that I worried I had carelessly scared off. His message was only two lines, but just getting it at all was what mattered. It made my day.
Happy Holidays! Whatever you celebrate, why don't you pass the greetings along, you never know who's day you might make.