Journal Entry: 1996
Tomorrow, my mother-in-law will be wearing green or red. I will wear my old red coat with the big, fuzzy cuffs and collar. I will pick her up in my car, and we will drive to The Western Development Museum, through softly falling snow. We’ll talk about the joys of the season and listen to Christmas music gently flowing from my car stereo. We’ll be doing what we’ve done for twenty years; we’ll be enjoying our tradition.
First, we’ll eat lunch in the museum restaurant. We’ll order turkey soup and Christmas pudding and linger over two cups of coffee. I’ll forget my work schedule, and she’ll forget her worries. We will prepare to experience life as it was in 1910.
As we stroll through Boom Town, she will tell me, once again, about her life as a little girl. She was born in 1920 and came from England to settle in Montreal in 1924. Her memories are magical. I will hear, again, about how she fell in love with a pharmacist from the prairies, and how she moved back to Saskatchewan with him in 1951. As we enter the Once Upon a Christmas display, I will remind her about the annual trips we made to the city, when my daughters were small, to view this display when it belonged to the Eaton’s department store. We started that tradition in 1976. We’ll acknowledge that we miss Eaton’s.
As my mother-in-law and I enter the gift shop, it will thrill us to see Christmas overflowing into the foyer. The ladies will give us special shopping bags, if we buy enough. I will take note of the items my mother-in-law admires and slip back to purchase them at a later date. There will be time for tea and a huge ginger cookie, because it is 1910 and we have no reason to hurry.
We will giggle and talk as we carry our treasures to my car and place them reverently into the trunk. I will open her door, get her settled, and then pause to deeply breathe the cool, clean air into my lungs. I will smile as I sweep sparkly, fluffy, snow from my car. We will drive to her home, aware that the stars are beginning to appear in the black sky. We will marvel at the one red ribbon that forms the horizon.
We will say our goodbyes. Our hug will be longer than my British mother-in-law usually allows. Maybe on these occasions, we inadvertently invite our ancestors to join us. We have found the perfect tradition to join the generations.
My mother-in-law in 2000
At the museum in 2013
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