A Memory of Christmas Past

A Memory of Christmas Past

   

This was a common occurrence around the dining room table in La Canada, CA (abt. 1957)

 

My mother, Jean Marie Burnham (1914-2012), was a prolific writer.  Writing was an important part of her life and she was probably one of the last letter writers since the art of pen to paper is rapidly becoming a lost art.  In addition to her letter writing, she would write to the local newspaper editor and create poems filled with her often strong opinions and feelings.    She wanted to leave her thoughts and recollections for others to read so she not only wrote her memoirs, she actually penned her own obituary, not wanting to leave her life story to others (which tells many in our family where the “control-freak” originated).  In her later years, she composed poems for the holidays and included them in family Christmas Cards.

Christmas 2009

        I had a dream the other night.

It was Christmas.

All the family was there

From the eldest to the least.

None were missing.

We were sitting at a long table

In La Canada

In the living room.

We were so happy

Eating, laughing, talking.

I woke up

And reminisced of Christmas’s past.

Then I thought of the time

We would all be in heaven.

The circle would be unbroken.

What a day of rejoicing that would be.

It would be Christmas

Every day.

 

About Joy McKinnon-Stokes

I have been doing genealogy for over 25 years. My first interest in it was a result of my mother seeking information on her father's family in England. Her father had left her when she was 12 and she never saw him again. I quickly jumped on board to help in the search and quickly discovered the 'detective' part of family history that I have grown to love. I not only found out about her father and where he had ended up but I discovered relatives including a great niece that my mother never knew she had. All of sudden, she had a family from her father's side. My father was in a similar situation and had a father that left when he was 9 never to be heard from again. Through time, I also found where his father ended up and within a few years, my mother, father and I went on a genealogical trek to New Jersey and Massachusetts to research further and to see the final resting places of my parents' fathers. It will always be one of my most memorable experiences and it brought much closure to my parents. This experience is what continues to drive me to help others find out answers about their families.

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