Monday, December 7, 2015


I guess it is no secret that I have been feeling a bit discouraged lately. As advent began I felt mostly grief and very little joy.What kind of  Xmas day could I plan? This time last year I was in the hospital and then rehab.  The two Christmas holidays before that I had spent having the  Xmas  meal--an excellent one--as it was prepared and served at the Linn Health Center  in East Providence with my Aunt Anna who was  a resident there. But now she was gone, and my neighbor and friend  Doris was approaching the first anniversary of the death of her dear daughter, Donna,  and my best friend,  Maureen was trying to imagine a Xmas without her  husband, Mitch,  I felt the weight of these losses and was weeping  way too easily when  I thought of them. I was feeling sorry for myself.

  That all changed a few days ago when I was making my daily drive through Slater Park with my husband. He loves to watch the geese especially when they take it into their collective mind to cross the street from the pond to the picnic area. This day as I entered the park I saw a new sign that said  No Thru traffic.  I drove  as far as I could and saw hundreds of people standing in line and cars parked everywhere. People were  moving as quickly as they could carrying huge  bags of what looked like  Xmas ornaments. The day was brisk and damp,  but they looked joyous--their  eyes were shining and their movements were full of purpose.  I went as far  as I could and turned around in the parking lot across from the Daggett House.  I could see a line of  young and old people that snaked a long distance and I could feel the charge of their excitement and delight.
What is going on--I wondered--and instantly my heart supplied the answer--. And I knew that in some way they were honoring their dead.  I stopped and asked a Park employee what was happening. And he said they were getting ready for WINTER WONDERLAND--  people lining up to get their placard with their family member's name and some  words about the person and then they can pick out the tree and then they can decorate it.  Their joy was immense and I caught some of that delight to see them and hoped I would soon have  the energy and health to  remember ANNA  with a tree   decorated for her at  Xmas.

It is one of the things that really  made Xmas and Advent real to me again, and it is one of the things that makes Pawtucket a good place to live. THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT IS ALIVE AND WELL AND BACK IN THE BUCKET!!.

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