|The tree, complete with my mom's crocheted snowflakes|
|Front hallway lights and unintentional selfie|
My friend Pete was here, a few feet away in the kitchen, baking cookies. I explained as quickly as I could that I hadn't hit my head, that I hadn't fallen from the top of the ladder, but simply missed the last step and probably would have managed to keep my balance if I hadn't collided with the chair. In those first moments I felt worse for him than for myself, having tended to a few emergencies with my mom during the years she lived here and knowing all too well those initial moments of pure panic and the awful scenario of spending the holiday in the ER.
I was lucky enough to forgo the sleigh ride to the hospital, but I've got some bruised ribs and a sore tailbone. And I'm sort of thankful for the reminder of how life can change in an instant. I know that. We all do. And I suppose it's good to forget it now and then and just be caught up in those times of joyful ease, but we also need to know that it can all come crashing down.
And so here I am this Christmas Day, thinking of my mom and hoping she's having a good Christmas in Iowa, thinking of Dan as I struggle for a good deep breath since the site of my injured ribs is exactly where his incision was from his lung cancer surgery, and last night I told the story of my dad and our family rituals protecting us from Christmas tree danger. We love the distant, the dead, the living, and the light, and the darkness.
And speaking of light and darkness, I happened to catch this from my bedroom window as it streaked past.
O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.
Of course, I didn't think of that at all at first. I thought the worst--plane on fire, alien attack, end of the world. That's the way I am. And I wish you a very Merry Christmas.