When I was younger I was a wish factory. One thing I wished for, this time of year was that I could decorate a Christmas tree. My mom said “You are Jewish and Jewish people do not decorate Christmas Trees.” Several years later one of my best friends invited me to a party to decorate her Christmas tree. I was allowed to go to the party, but not supposed to decorate the tree, I think I did a few ornaments, but was afraid to continue and get in trouble. I loved Chanukah, the magic of the candles each day, the chocolate candy money, and especially the nuts we used as money when we played the dreidle game. Yet, I still wanted to decorate a Christmas tree. Perhaps not unexpectedly, I have married two , Episcopalians, and have had the pleasure of decorating many trees over the 37 years of marriage to my second husband.
I wished I lived with my aunt and uncle and their three children. I wished I could write, with an original voice…That I had some money to study music and write down the notes that I sang to myself. My parents couldn’t and wouldn’t pay for lessons. They always thought that the tunes I invented were created by someone else. I wished I could run away from home and get further than the red light which was two blocks from home. Luckily in this case, (I was about three or four years old) my mother would assist me in collecting my doll, my little red wagon, and scarves or sweaters for warmth. She even gave me crackers in case I was hungry. She followed me as far as I dared go, and brought me back home with much patience and kindness.
Many times I have wished for moral courage and compassion, and the ability to carry through life, an open heart and the ability to respect the sanctity of life and the sanctity of death. Recently, my husband and I have set up our funerals the way we would like them to be. No guarantee here either, but in my case I will be buried in a natural woodland burial place under trees with no coffin just a degradable shroud. If I can find a copy of my old poem about being able to feed the roots of trees, it will be read then, by my husband or one of my children.
I feel especially concerned for the well being of this country and this small little world we live in. Are we going into another extinction? And how can anybody who knows even a minuscule amount of history vote for a child molester, bigoted, racist man like Trump?
Dustin, my second son, once told me, “Don’t worry mom, we may not be here, but the world will be just fine.” I wish for my two sons and daughter stability, joy , flexibility, kindness towards themselves and others. Faith in life itself, and the courage to stand up to fate and know when to fight and when to accept the whole slew of improbabilities washed ashore, to dream and to act on their dreams. So far they have suffered, failed and succeeded. Each has a unique pattern of growth and I wish I could cast a net across the ocean of my fears , scuttle them into a parallel dimension. Safety and hiding, though, is not always the best choice, so instead I hope they all explore the world of wisdom truth beauty and love.
born, lived, cried, appreciated, lost, found, lived, laughed, flew in my dreams,
taught others to fly in their dreams, became a telescope reflecting the stars,
dove to the depths of despair ,recovered and walked along the beach as the water escaped from the sea and erased my footprints.
What a beautiful catalogue of wishes and dreams over your lifetime. I especially enjoyed how you got back at your mom by marrying Episcopalians with whom you could decorate Christmas trees, as well as how your mom helped you run away from home! Thanks so much for writing and sharing this.
Thanks John for all of your help and advice.
The picture of your mom helping your 3 year old self with preparations for leaving home really gets me.
You have had a great many wonderful wishes. I, too, do not understand how any thinking person could have voted for Trump and that concerns me a great deal for the direction of our country for these next four years. I think you have set a wonderful example for your children. And I love your Christmas decorating wishes. My mother, almost 100 years ago, as a first generation Jewish American, had the same wish, but got into lots of trouble when she came home with a decorated branch from a friend’s tree. I think a lot of us Jews have Christmas tree envy!
Thanks for your comments. I am so happy that you read the story and enjoyed it. The last time I lived in Houston and was moving to Minnesota, one of her comments was, “You always did want to run away from home.”
I am just in shock where it comes to Trump. I live in an area where if you put a Hillary sign out it would be gone in a short time.
I’m another Jew with Christmas tree envy and really related to your story, Rosie. We were allowed to visit a neighbor’s home and have Christmas cookies. Many years later I had an Episcopalian boyfriend, and he invited a bunch of people over before Christmas to decorate the tree. Someone gave me a wad of tinsel and I stood there stupidly, not knowing what to do with it. Everyone laughed with me. Thanks for the smiles!
Marion thanks so much for reading this story. I thank all others as well, it gives me so much encouragement to continue writing here. This last year has been an exploration of the sad and beautiful in life and older age.
Thank all of you for reading and commenting.