Set the Wayback Machine to the 1960s Sherman

Christmas past... ah the memories. In the 60s and 70s, if my family wasn't at home for the traditional turkey feast on December 25th, we would most likely be found at my Aunts' house nearby.

Two of my mother's sisters never married so they remained living together in their parent's house after their mother and father had passed on. Since they didn't have families of their own and lived only blocks away, they became our extended family. Any special event automatically included them.

As a small child, I loved going over to Joyce and Harriet's home on Handyside Avenue. On Sundays we would watch The Wonderful World of Disney on their color television (well, if you could call various shades of green "color")... a real treat since we only had a black and white TV back then.

I remember during the holidays they set up the same tiny tree on a small table at their front window. It looked so bare, unlike our seven foot pine at our home that was nearly lifted off the floor it was so packed with presents underneath. When I got older, I kept a tradition of stopping by to drop off a little something to put under their tree. Not that they couldn't afford presents; they were both very well off. It's just that they were together but alone too and I always wanted to show them they weren't forgotten at Christmastime.

Harriet left us at age 85 in the year 2000. I still constantly think about her. When she passed, Joyce eventually moved into a nursing home, and still joined us for Christmas dinner until last year. Her other siblings, including my mom visited her almost daily...

... until yesterday.

At age 90, Joyce left us to be with Harriet once more.

And the memories of Christmas on "Candyside" (as we kids called their street), have come flooding back with the tears.

12 People would rather be commenting:

Bruce Johnson said...

Sweet recollection...thanks for sharing.

(it seems that the memories of Christmas past mature like fine wine in our memories, while Christmas present tastes more and more like Kool-aide.)

Canadian flake said...

Please accept my sincerest condolences. My prayers are with you in this time of sorrow.

Kathy said...

Maureen -- Beautiful post. I'm sorry for your loss, but I'm happy you shared that story with everyone. Brings me out of my Christmas haze and reminds me of all that's important now, and all year long.

Irene said...

My condolences to you, but what great memories you have. Those are something to treasure. Every kid should have aunts living on Candyside.

Jill said...

Those do sound like nice memories, Candyside sounds like a nice place to live OR visit! She must have loved the gifts even if she didn't need anything. I'm sorry about your aunt Joyce.

Janet said...

Awww....what a wonderful memory. Beautifully written, Maureen. {hugs} to you in this holiday season. Janet

Creative-Type Dad said...

So sorry to hear about your loss.
What great memories of your aunts.

the frogster said...

I have not had an easy time this holiday season, it being my first one without my father. I've spent some sad time this year, thinking about fond memories of Christmases past. Some of my siblings are planning to come to our place over the holidays, and it will be nice to spend some time with them. Perhaps the time will be happy, perhaps sad, but we'll be spending it together.

PS- Nothing makes holiday time together more enjoyable than a big ol' piece of fruitcake.

the frogster said...

My original comment also included the beginning: "Maureen, sorry for your loss," but I cleared it out by mistake. I wish you peace.

Cupcake Blonde said...

Maureen I am so sorry. Losing family members is always hard but it seems losing them around the holidays is even harder. My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time. But I am sure your two aunts are together once again and are looking down on your fondly for remembering them all these years.

Ann(ie) said...

My condolences, love. Never easy to lose loved ones. I'm glad they are together again though...I'll bet Harriet was thrilled to see her sis and pal again!

Maureen said...

Thank you so much, everyone... you are all too kind.

It IS sad to lose a family member, especially around the holidays. Her memorial was yesterday, but I tried to view it as a celebration of a long life lived; with many family and friends, 90 healthy years, and an end that wasn't painful with family around her... what more could you ask for? So I remember Joyce and Harriet for the wonderful times we all shared.

I only hope I can be remembered that way.

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