Thursday, December 15, 2005

Close to Nowhere
By Linda Jones

Dear Santa...

This is our annual Christmas greetings issue and time for my wish list and letter to Santa — along with all the “other” children’s letters.

Somehow though, I don’t think Santa can get me what I want this year. But here goes anyway...

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good girl this year. Well, I tried at least.

And it’s been a hard year. I lost my sister in March. She was only 58.

We lost Mammaw later on in the year. She was a bit older than 58 — she and Pappaw had been married 64 years, I believe. Not only did I have to comfort me, but my granddaughters needed lots of comfort. Mammaw was a very important part of their lives. Our youngest granddaughter still won’t eat cornbread, because Mammaw didn’t make it.

One of Pappaw’s favorite stories is about Gremlin — she was about 2 years old and he was holding her in the kitchen and she reached out and snatched a piece of cornbread while Mammaw was setting it on the table. She looked very serious and said, “Good cornbread is hard to come by!” Pappaw cries now when he tells that story.

We lost a much-loved kindergarten teacher also this year. “Mrs. ’Crosky” is sorely missed by 34 years of students, along with her “real” family.

And Santa, Monday, one of The South Reporter’s best friends passed away. He was Barry’s good friend and the rest of us also cared for him. I’d called him many a time for help and advice and he was unfailingly kind and helpful above and beyond the call of duty.

Santa, I can’t read Barry’s column about Dan yet. Maybe you can read it to me after Christmas?

There’s so much that I want for Christmas this year.

I want Pappaw to start eating again. I want my brother-in-law Gene to laugh and play in the backyard with all 18 of the assorted kids in our family. I want to hear Mrs. ’Crosky tell me one more time how special my grandchildren are to her (I have an idea she said that to a great many parents and grandparents).

And Santa, I have an even taller order — how about world peace?

Maybe some comfort for the Hurricane Katrina victims and the tsunami victims and all the troops fighting — I don’t care what country they belong to or where they’re fighting. They all have mothers and families too.

But you know Santa, it’s not all sadness everywhere. In fact, we might all try singing Louis Armstrong’s version of “It’s a Wonderful World.”

It is, you know. And we’ve been blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.

Oh, and Santa, I know most of the little girls want those new Bratz dolls now.

But I still want a Barbie...

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