Me-Maw’s Last Christmas
A Christmas story by Melton Carr
Merry Christmas Me-Maw!
Down the street, many of our neighbors’ children have already been up for hours and it’s not even nine o’clock yet! I can remember when I was their age it was the same for me. I couldn’t stay in bed past 5:30 Christmas morning; too much excitement! I was just dying to open my presents and see what I got. My parents could sleep as long as they wanted but, I was ready to tear open all that wrapping paper, and if something really special couldn’t be wrapped because it was too big…well, so much the better, I could deal with it…like WOW!
Being an adult now, most of that excitement about Christmas and opening presents has long since disappeared. Christmas doesn’t have that special meaning anymore. I wish it did!
It’s been just over ten months now since Me-Maw passed away. She lived to be eighty-two and her death was peaceful and without pain; she passed while she slept. Her neighbor; who always kept a close watch of her, discovered her one morning back in February. Me-Maw had a very small funeral; mostly family and a few friends. After her funeral, we all stayed around the church cemetery for several hours talking about what a great woman she was. I shared my own stories of how important she had been in my life.
“I loved my Me-Maw!” I still declare it to this day!
As you have followed my story, you probably have some unanswered questions. I am going to try and answer them now, the best I can.
“Did Me-Maw ever marry?” Yes, she married a man who drank a lot and abused her, and finally left her. She obtained a divorce from him a couple of years later.
“Why haven’t I ever married?” I was engaged several years ago to a woman I met through a friend. Her name was Joyce. It turned out she was more in love with my friend than me. We parted and I got my ring back.
“Did I continue to live with my cousin?” I moved out a couple months after Me-Maw died; got my own place and now work for our church as a maintenance man. It’s a good job; I like it a lot. My buddy, Pastor Tanner, is helping me to better understand what my purpose in this life is all about.
“Why didn’t I go ahead and sing in the choir that Christmas Eve night last year?” I did, and one of the songs we sang was: Joy, joy, unspeakable joy, angels are everywhere; one of Me-Maw’s favorites.”
“Whatever happened to the stranger I referred to as an angel?” Well, he continued to pop-up every once in a while, mostly over at Me-Maw’s. It’s like he was waiting around for the right time to accomplish what he had come for. I truly believe what he was waiting for was Me-Maw. I also think she just needed some time to get her things in order before going away with him.
Me-Maw’s neighbor told us at the funeral, when she went over to Me-Maw’s that morning to find her deceased; there was a blue bandana in Me-Maw’s left hand, and her favorite Bible in her right hand. She was clutching both to her heart.
I believe now, the stranger had waited for another person’s lifetime to come back and claim a very special love he had left behind long, long ago!
“Rest in peace, Me-Maw.” Grown men do cry.