Category Archives: Loss of a parent

Of nativity scenes and Christmas joy

I usually try to write posts that will appeal to a general audience, no inside jokes, no personal details, because I believe the journey of an adult child is universal. However, I also write as therapy, so this post is different. You can probably stop reading right now if we didn’t grow up together. Or not. Anyway, I can’t blame the contents of this post on any one but myself–unlike those mystery thumb tacks in the door…

This will be my first Christmas as an “adult orphan,” my first with no living parent. Of course, that goes for my eight siblings as well. The nine of us will each get through the holiday in our own way, feeling their absence as individually as we felt their presence when we were children. Despite our being a pack of nine, despite the fact that we are still recognized in our home town, decades later,  as “one of the Pola children,” there is no doubt we were raised to be separate, independently thinking units of one.

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Until we meet again

It’s as if I’ve walked in to a party, expecting to see her there. The host notices my expectant look and, ever attentive, taps me gently on the shoulder.

“You’ve just missed her,” he says softly and I flinch with surprise.

It happens time and again as I work my way through the crowd, through the days and weeks, through a lifetime ahead. I thought for sure I’d see her again. But though she’s slipped away and left the party, it’s not as if she’s gone unnoticed. She has left her mark, undoubtedly.  Rising from the murmur of the guests,  there is no hiss of idle gossip, only a whisper of fond remembrances. Yes, I thought for sure I’d see her. I have so much to tell her.  Perhaps another time.

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