Friday, November 30, 2018

Finding Lost Things: Part One


This post has taken enormous courage to publish. I read a piece of writing, just a sentence or two, about lost things, and it piqued my imagination. From it I created a simple story, not a literary work by any means. It will be published in three posts over the next week. I hope you enjoy it as I have enjoyed writing it. 




Alicia didn’t know exactly when she lost her love of Christmas. It was gradual, imperceptible, lost over years of baking too many cookies for piano recitals and school programs, lost through wandering the malls looking for just the right gift, lost by too little sleep and wondering if she’d done enough.

          She remembered the anticipation of being a child – those years when the turning of the calendar to December 1 kindled a small spark of excitement that was fed into flames by playing the part of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer in the puppet show in Grade One, by putting on an angel costume and singing Angels We Have Heard on High in the Sunday School program. She still loved that Christmas carol, especially the prolonged Glorias that trilled on for so many notes before the Latin words “In excelsis Deo” brought it all together.

          When she and Kevin courted and married, Christmas was imbued with romance: the delight of walking hand in hand through new-fallen snow, cuddling together while watching Sleepless in Seattle or Miracle on 34th Street, putting up the Christmas tree together, and waking up to his face on the pillow next to her.

          The Christmas she was pregnant with Jill she felt the anticipation Mary felt, carrying the Christ Child in her womb. She thought of Mary and wondered if she had felt the same protective love Alicia now experienced. Of course she did, Alicia thought. Don’t all mothers?

          Two years later, after Ben arrived, she reveled in the sparkling eyes of her children when they saw the tree lights and shiny ornaments. She pondered the tender moments of telling them the story of Baby Jesus in the manger. The anticipated joy of Christmas morning was more for the delight she would see in her children’s eyes than for herself.

          Then the children became teenagers. Jill was difficult, moody and unpredictable. Ben went silent. Alicia became uncertain about her parenting and other skills. Christmas gifts became a guessing game and Alicia bit her lip as she watched her children open their gifts. Would they like them, or would they get engender a perfunctory “thank you” and be discarded?

          Over the years Christmas dinner became a sprawling affair with siblings, nieces, nephews and parents. She loved her family, but Alicia felt squashed, trying to please everyone. Everyone contributed to the meal, held at Alicia and Kevin’s home because they were welcoming and relaxed.
  
          Alicia loved the story of Christ coming to earth and the hope brought to humankind, but she felt empty and, if not hopeless, then rather numb to the love, joy, peace and hope promised by the Christ Child. Somewhere over the years, she’d lost the meaning. In fact, she loved nothing better than when the celebration was over and there were a few days of doing nothing before returning to her part time position as a doctor’s office manager. Christmas became a chore added to the all the other things demanding her time.

          On November 30, Alicia sat in her favourite chair looking out at the barren garden. No snow had yet fallen. Some years none fell, yet Alicia always longed for snow. She loved the way it brightened and transformed the dark landscape of winter into a magical world of light. For her, one of the most entrancing scenes in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was Lucy’s entrance into Narnia where the lamppost glowed in the falling snow.

          She sat now with her journal and a cup of tea. “What if,” Alicia thought, “what if I ran away for Christmas?” 

         She toyed with the idea, envisioning a quiet cabin in the woods, a cozy fire burning, comfortable couches and time to just read and be. Then she thought about being alone. It seemed appealing, but soon she realized her imaginary scenario included Kevin bringing in the firewood and making her laugh. She realized that the children were upstairs in this imaginary cozy cabin, ready to come down and play games or watch a movie together.


          “So much for that,” she thought. 

...to be continued



26 comments:

  1. Now I am looking forward to the next episode Lorrie - I suspect that there are several pertinent little moments mentioned here that will ring true for many of your readers, myself included.

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.

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  2. I’m hooked already. Looking forward to part two. Nothing like a wintery story, hopefully with a happy ending. B x

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. You'll have to wait and see!

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  3. What a fascinating beginning!

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  4. I'm loving this, Lorrie... I'm so glad you had the courage to post. Looking forward to Part 2.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend...
    Brenda xox

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  5. Can't wait for the rest of the story and can totally identify with Alicia's thoughts.

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    1. Thank you. I think there are many of us who feel the same as Alicia.

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  6. Looking forward to the next instalment.

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  7. I am feeling a connection with your story.

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    1. It seems that many of us feel the same.

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  8. I'm so glad you found the courage to share your story with us. I have lost my Christmas spirit for very similar reasons to Alicia and I dream of running away with my husband at Christmas, just the two of us, away from the pressure of trying to please everyone else. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this story. Well done. x

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  9. I’ll be back! How old are the children by the end of part one?

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  10. Wonderfully lovingly written. I too look forward to the rest of the story . We do worry about making it all perfect. So silly. I recall relief when my children knew there was NO Santa and lists were made . The Santa scene was loaded for me, with insecurity about getting the right gifts! ALlison was known to change her mind about santa's gifts, within days of the big EVE. Now I laugh. My kids ARE The gifts. I love that they travel home for Christmas. ANyhow, keep writing!!! We all love this

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    1. Being together as a family is such a wonderful gift. Glad you're enjoying the story.

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  11. Bravo! I look forward to reading what Alicia decides.

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    1. Thank you. I hope you enjoy the remainder of the story

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  12. Lovely story which brings so many memories for me; can't wait for the next installment.

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    1. Thank you, Pieta. I hope you enjoy the remainder of the story.

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  13. Looking forward to the next installment. I've lost the spark for Christmas. For me it was all about my family, but as an only child without and extended family network that's all gone. I enjoy doing a few things in the kitchen, but my husband doesn't really get excited about those traditions. This year has been the hardest. And I have that cabin that's in your story, yet we leave it to go to the city for the holidays. Guess that's a bit backwards. - Margy

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  14. I'm sitting outside Sam's in the car while RH is inside shopping. What a joy to read your first story here! Each post you do is a story so I knew it would be special and it is. You managed to make me care about Alicia in this first installment. I have to know how the joy of Christmas will be restored to her, and feel sure it will be. I love the lamppost in the snow too! Lovely to be reading your fiction, Lorrie!

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  15. I happened on 'part 2' today so had to come back here to start at the beginning. Good job...so far!

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  16. Looking forward to the second part. You are a talented writer and have me hooked.

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  17. I see myself in this story, Lorrie....I'm off to read the next part.

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  18. Beautifully written and very engaging, Lorrie!

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  19. I enjoyed this, now off to read the next parts …

    All the best Jan

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