blue moon (2)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Just Me And My Friends ©

Another year is coming to an end and I am preparing to celebrate my 47 Christmas.
I remember as a child, family used to gather at one house to celebrate.
There were usually about 20 people and as many as 40.
We would go one place for Christmas and gather at someone else’s for New Years.
The next year we would be at someone else’s and this went on for years.
All the kids would gather in the bedrooms and tell about the presents they got and play. The fathers would be in the living room smoking, drinking and talking about politics and the old days. Our mothers would be in the kitchen and dinning room preparing the meal.
When all was done we would gather at the table and start eating.
Stories were told as we ate.
All the kids would be wide eyed and listening to the wild stories of Christmases gone by. We heard that during the war they still celebrated Christmas but the food was limited. Presents were made and many had to be shared with siblings.
We heard that bread had been made with what ever form of flour they could find or produce and that sugar was sometimes non existent.
They survived on pig weed and dandelions.
But Christmas was still a festive time.
I remember those stories as clearly as if it was yesterday.
They had certain warmth to them.
Looking back at our parents and other relatives back then today in my head; I see a group of people that grew up together and were sharing their lives still 50 years later and 8 thousand miles away from where they all began, still friends and family.

As we got older and left home, the big gatherings ceased.
Sure, we still get together with are core family, mother father and brother and myself with our families or guests but the big family gatherings were no more because we all left home and started our own traditions.
Every year I would invite all my friends over and we would celebrate Christmas.
There were as many as 100 people at the house at once and I would throw a bigger New Year party.
We used to have a blast.
Talking about the things we did, laughing at jokes, getting drunk and stoned.
Talking about what is going on in their lives.
I could still see their faces, smiling, laughing……Happy.
I have a picture of Mad Dog giving me the finger because I was taking his picture. He never liked getting his picture taking.
I have another of Philip and Snake stoned on the couch; laughing their asses off.
The three “W” brothers were smoking a joint inside the kitchen while one of their girlfriends was putting out food with my GF.
Rick was fighting with Mike over what music they wanted to hear.
It was Pink Floyd and Donna Summer back then.
Quite the crew they were.
There were many others like Howard, Saul, Peter, Nabil, Danny, Sue, Roxy, Deb, Diane, Kevin, Frank, Chantal, Ron, Dino, Kim, Chuck, Carmen, Paul and many many more.
We were in our twenties then.

In my thirties, things were different.
I was older and saw things in a different light as we all did.
I had 2 daughters to think of and family was more important than friends and getting stoned.
A few close friends who also had kids gathered for Christmas dinner with a few family members. We always had gifts for the kids that were coming.
The kids would run around or play with the latest video game.
I looked at them one day as they were all together playing and remembered when I was a kid their age and I was playing with Maria, Mike, Penny and Pat.
We sat around drinking and talking about the kids and work.
Some of us had known each other as kids and we laughed about what was then and how we were today.

Time travels on and I reached my forties looking at my fifties.
My forties found me alone.
I haven’t seen my kids in 4 years.
Many of my friends have moved, or have passed on (Names in red) to a bigger party.
Every year I dress up the tree and the house. Even if no one sees it but me, I always put it up. This year I won’t because I won’t be here but that’s fine, I carry the spirit within me.
I remember the first year I put it up for my daughter. She spent most of the time in the playpen mesmerized but the blinking lights.
I remember my kitten running by with a piece of tinsel chasing her.
I thought it was funny until I stepped on it and it became even funnier as the tinsel grew to 6 feet in length and I realized she had eaten it and it was coming out the other end LOL.
Now I sit alone, here thinking about the Christmas season and I realize that I am not alone.
All my friends are still here in my memories, laughing and singing maybe giving me the finger. Running around the bed rooms playing hide and seek, laying back smokin a spliff and catching a buzz.
I have my backgammon friends, who I spend lots of time with everyday and all the people on my MSN who say hi to me on a daily basis and I have you, my new friends.
We share our lives together daily.
We make each other laugh, cry or feel real warm.
So as I sit here alone but not alone, reflecting on the Christmases that have gone by, the one thing that sticks out the most is not the gifts and the booze or drugs, it’s not even Christmas it’s self.
It’s the people I spend time with throughout my life that makes the memories.
The people who touched my soul and left a mark that time it’s self cannot fade.
It’s our family and friends who leave us with the all the pleasures in mind that we shared.
So, on Christmas Day at midnight my time, I will raise my glass to my friends.
To the ones that have left and are not forgotten
To the ones I have here with me
To the one I have yet to meet
And to you, CHEERS

To all my friends.

Seasons Greetings

Walker

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