NORMAN — It hit me the other day as I was putting up the lights and the Christmas tree that there was something missing.
At first, I couldn’t put my finger on it. All the ornaments were in the right place. All of the lights worked. And, for the first time ever, I put the tree together right the first time. It was a small victory, only shared between me and the dogs. They didn’t really understand my excitement, but they accepted the unbegged-for treat with little argument.
A few days went by, and I finally realized what was missing. It wasn’t anything that I could go buy. It wasn’t anything I had forgot to get down from the attic, either. It was the family story that my grandmother would always tell. I hadn’t heard it from the source in probably 25 years. And, quiet frankly, I’m worried that all of the little details are getting fuzzy.
As children, we always knew that Grandma was going to bust out that story — the same story she had told us every year for as long as any of us could remember. It had really became a family joke, but we listened every Christmas, regardless. The story, which is more of a tale of being grateful for one gift instead of 20, begins way before Grandma was even a grandma.
Unsure if Santa was even going to be able to visit her childhood home, Grandmother was a bit inpatient one Christmas morning. So, instead of waiting until her siblings awoke, she quietly tip-toed into the living room, where she found the doll stroller she had been hoping for for months. Not used to having new things, Grandmother spent those pre-dawn Christmas morning hours quietly rolling that stroller up and down the little house her family lived in that so happened to be built on a small incline.