A small part of me just died, and I think it may have meant more than I can fathom just now.
For two weeks or so I've been trying to avoid throwing out the Christmas tree. Mother has asked me several times, and now she obviously got tired of waiting and did it herself. I never thought it would hurt so much. During all this time I've been telling myself I didn't want to do it because it's hard work, but now I realize it was something else that stopped me.
When I was little and dad was alive, we always used to get a miniature Christmas tree just for me, a real one but small, maybe three feet high. In a box under my bed I had a little set of blinking lights I would use to decorate it, and when I lit them I knew it was Christmas for real. It was always a very emotional moment. I remember how my whole body would tremble and I felt this warm almost limitless joy and happiness, as if everything was perfect and would always stay that way.
And now, nothing remains of that time but a faded memory. I try so hard to feel something as strongly as I did back then, but seeing our dried-out Christmas tree being stripped and thrown away in silence only reminded me of the fact that I can't, and I will never be that innocent child again. I will never again be overwhelmed with joy decorating my own little tree with those blinking little lights, initiating yet another perfect little Christmas. The world is bigger now, and so am I.
I guess I've always known that, but it just became so very real. And that hurts.