|A family Christmas gathering Dec 26th 2012|
Part of Christmas' past would be the opening of the gifts from Columbia, SC. Year after year we'd all open the cardboard boxes filled with little mementos that our aunts and uncles thought we'd each enjoy having. Last year, right at Christmas, our aunt Jennie Llew passed away. She was the last of my father's siblings. It was the last Christmas that Gina and I would send a parcel Columbia way.
Last night the Elrods brought over a video made back in 1986 of our different families wishing our relatives in Columbia a merry Christmas. Robby ventured from house to house with his video camera capturing all the families in our natural habitat. Robby recorded Irene with a very young Carrie. Wes was just a baby. The camera then focused at the Noojin household with Florrie and Dan. The next segment was from 2624 Scenic Hwy. Dad was talking to the camera, wishing his brothers and sisters well and talked about the true meaning of Christmas. Mother sat beside him. Cindy and I were there too. The scene then went to Southside, AL where Brook and Jennifer were showing off their Christmas decorations as well as their then business next door Green Garden.
The highlight of course was seeing and hearing dad again. It was the first time my daughters had ever seen their grandfather. My dad died back in 1990, not long before Gina and I were married. I couldn't make out all of what he was saying on the video because there was a lot of commotion in the Wood house last night.
There was also video of Columbia. There they were, all sitting in Jennie Llew's living room on Wateree Avenue; Florence, Rutha, Pat, Murdoch, Jennie Llew and Wofford. They were all very much alive back in 1986. I teared up a little. I smiled. It was good seeing them, and hearing them going at one another. Jennie Llew sang a song, Murdock was coaxed to sing Amazing Grace (not knowing the words) , and Pat sang a few hymns.
While the video played on, the attention went to boxes that my sister Jennie had lugged from our cousin Beverly's house in Columbia. Beverly ended up with a lot of items after the death of Pat and Jennie Llew. I can't explain it, but it was a special moment for me. For a moment we were seeing faces of loved ones now gone - hearing their voices once again. For a moment, we were opening gifts from our dear Columbia kin again.
It wasn't sad. It was just so very sweet.