The holiday is coming together.
Steve's Dad, Roger, has ventured to the midland, forsaking the decorated palm trees of LA for Janet's snow globe. It is his second difficult season in a row- last year, adapting to life without Carol, and this year, freshly shaken after discovering his youngest son, and his housemate, Rick dead. Steve's brother was his go-to guy, and the silence must be chilling for him. And the loss.
But Roger is a gamer. He has picked up the strands of his life and is knitting them back together. He has joined some support groups, is active in his church, and is even going to Weight Watchers to help get his diabetes in control. Most of all, he has intrepidly boarded United and visited us. We had an amazing time at Thanksgiving, and so we pressed him to return for Christmas. Despite the potential for snow and chill- he said yes. It has made the holidays brighter to know we will be sharing them.
Roger comes from sturdy Minnesota stock. But really- he has roses blooming in his garden- this is a trip from technicolor California to GRAY Chicago. So I am glad to dazzle him with my Christmas sparkle (clutter).
He arrived in time to see a Christmas wish come true- and in fact, he helped to make it so. My youngest son, Matthew has been a city boy since leaving high school, and he has been looking for a doll house in the suburbs. He is getting married in May, and his dog Walter has been begging for grass. (Justine may have been putting words in Walter's mouth as she saw the shower gifts that would not fit in their apartment go into attic storage here at our house.) Years ago, Steve started a savings account for each son, earmarked for a home. Matt had not been able to add to it, and his budget was tight.
Roger was here when Matt lost an earlier bid. Seeing Matt's frustration, he made a very generous, early wedding gift to the kids to help them get their loan. He is Santa incarnate! On Thursday, Roger will get to visit this cute little home, earmarked for the future of the Matthew Dahls. For me, that moment will be enough Christmas.
With the benefit of a week's time, Roger will be able to see the Blackhawks play, watch Pat directing the game, visit the city homes of both Rachel and Pat and Kathryn and Mike. He will be forced to contend with his great grand-dogs, and he will be delighted and tickled by the best Christmas gift ever- Henry Dahl. Maybe he will stop by Mr. Skin and take a gander at Matt's workplace. He is hip- I believe he would revel in the digital dazzle as Matt transforms from anatomy to comedy and cutting edge content.
We will all be together on Christmas Day for a period of 3 hours, total. 9 Chicago Dahls, 1 California Dahl. The family circle, tightened, reconfigured and ready for the next stage. WIth 4 ridiculous dogs stationed by the oven, dreaming of a tenderloin Christmas.
For those 3 hours, I would trade any possession I own. TRUTH.