...and here my mother's ashes sleep. (Before clearing)

December 25th, 2013, 12pm

It was 28.3°C with few clouds. The breeze was brisk.

It’s the hardest time of year, and never gets any easier. It’s hard because both mom and dad were clergy, and Advent was when they were busiest with their churches and congregations… and yet also when they were most focused on family. Particularly as they, and their children, grew older.

So this season brings its weight of memory, as does now its crushing sense of absence. Theirs.

And mine, too, in a fashion. I am absent from those still around me in a fairly palpable way. I know this isn’t quite right, but I am not about to deny or cover up the fact that Christmas is a difficult time of year for me now.

It doesn’t help that my once-homeless adoptive family doesn’t a have deep well of Yule tradition to call upon, and everything seems ad hoc about Christmas at our upcountry home. I’m fine with this, actually—a more traditional scene would only remind me of what I once had.

Which is now ashes. I am at peace with this. Death is as much a part of life as anything else. But those weeds sure do grow quickly. I wonder who will take care of this cistern when I myself am gone.

Cassie and Sanna said thanks.

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Lloyd Nebres

I lived in a village and homestead set aside for people of Hawaiian ancestry. I am not Hawaiian but had been adopted into the culture—to my profound gratitude.

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