Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Broken Ornament

Pieces of white glass laid scattered on the floor. We all stood there staring at what was once a 'first ornament'.

Gabby got very quiet. When she is sad or angry a door closes on the pain. After a bit she melted into her mother's arms. All of the pain came pouring out. Her mother tried to soothe her telling her we would go immediately and find another special ornament for her.

"It won't be the same. It's not my first one," she sobbed.

Sometimes we forget how large something can be to a child. We know that things break. We try to understand the pain. Yet for a child who has lived such a short time, each precious moment is cherished. She knows that she cannot get back the first Christmas ornament that was given to her when she was only a few weeks old. A heart is broken as well as an ornament.

In thinking about my granddaughter and her sadness, I came up with the title for this blog, a title that means much more. Over the years I have looked time and time again at the ornaments that have traveled my life with me. Each year I hang them and remember those from the farm, those my sister stitched and painted, the fun ornaments my other sister creates, those made by my children. Each and every ornament has a story, has a place in my heart.

Christmas is a sentimental time. This time of remembering brings back thoughts of all those I miss who have passed away. Thoughts of days long ago. I understand Gabby's broken heart. We can never go back and recapture what has gone before.

We all have broken ornaments.....and the joy of remembering.


  1. Too true. Christmas ornaments, unlike so many other things we pull along with us through life, are always a happy reminder of past years. Otherwise, we wouldn't keep them.
    Of course, there are exceptions...like the year we discovered mouse skeletons clinging to the tinsel and thought they were ornaments until we realized what we were looking at. They must have poisoned themselves gorging our decorations while they were stored in the barn! :O)

  2. Jake, thank you for sharing. I'm still laughing. When my kids were younger, we cut a tree up in the hills. We were carrying it into the house when my daughter discovered a dead bird in her portion of the tree. Needless to say, we had a screaming girl.

    We have had many chuckles over memories of other tree trimming times. Nature gives us her own ornaments.

    Have a wonderful holiday season.