Christmas has come too fast again. Not that I'm not ready for it to get here. I'm just not ready for it to be gone. I still remember when it didn't come very fast at all...
In 1985, I was twelve and time was slow. Thirty seemed light years away and forty had never crossed my mind. It was impossible to imagine myself as an adult. Though some might tell you it still is.
In 1985, both of my grandmothers were still alive. But oh, how I took that for granted back then. Dad would go and get his mother and bring her to the house on Christmas Eve day. She would have gifts for us -- and they would be really bad gifts like tube socks with big red stripes around them. But it shouldn't have mattered because she had picked them out for us when Dad took her shopping solely for that purpose. I hope I thanked her for whatever bad gifts she got me that year, and I hope I acted like I liked them, because that was the last Christmas we ever got to spend with her.
In 1985, Mom and Dad were still young, and still together. And if I could have picked one of those to never change, I'm not sure which I'd choose.
In 1985, my sister was five. She hadn't yet become the major annoyance she soon would be. Little did I know we would someday become actual friends. And the thought of her being a mother, well that was as far from my mind as a thing could be.
In 1985, fave cousin was seven. War was a game we played with toy guns or plastic soldiers. And Afghanistan was a place I had never even heard of, much less ever thought he would someday go.
In 1985, I was pretty sure no matter how good or bad I may have been that I was getting toys. But there was that tiny one-percent part of me that was still afraid I might wake up to a bag of switches beneath the tree.
In 1985, however fast or slow the rest of the year passed, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed like a year unto itself.
In 1985, tonight -- Christmas Eve -- would be the longest night of the year. I would toss and turn and do my best to keep my ears open for any sound of Santa and his reindeer. But of course, it's the first great catch-22 of life -- you want to stay awake until he comes but he won't come until he knows you're sleeping. And he always knew.
In 1985, I must have closed my eyes, and though I could swear it was only for an instant, twenty-five years came and went.
"If heaven was a town it would be my town, on a summer day in nineteen-eighty-five. And everything I wanted was out there waiting. And everyone I loved was still alive..."