Thinking of Christmas makes me think of this being the first time in 20 years that Uncle Jim won't have a stocking at my parents' house. As Dad said at Thanksgiving, when people leave you, they leave you a little at a time. There's no one for my Dad to call up and compare times on the Friday NY Times crossword now, there were too many leftovers at Thanksgiving and no uncles to send them home to, my Mom chiding them to remember to bring back the plastic containers!
I went through two boxes of his books that I brought back from NY. It made me remember him, going through all his volumes on Mary Pickford, and the 14 Bibles he had.
I want to share the letter I read at Uncle Jim's memorial service. He wrote this to me when I was 7.
My Pretty Megan,
How are you?
How does my little miss go?
If you are well, then I'm well, too,
well off in San Francisco.
When I came home the other night
I got your happy letter.
It was so kind of you to write
And ask me "How's the weather?"
You asked me, "Is there any snow?
six, seven, or eight inches?"
And I'm afraid the answer's "no".
I'm very sorry, Princess.
I'm sad to say it never snows--
Not even in December!
And why it doesn't no one knows,
Or no one can remember.
But what good's snow? For when it melts
See then what your snowball weighs?
I have no snow, but something else
That I can have for always.
I have green plates, a yellow knife,
a red spoon, and a blue fork.
now, have you ever in your life
seen such things in Clay, New York?
I have a cloud bowl that I take
To mix bright stars and egg in,
So I can make an angel cake
for angels like my Megan.
I'll make you one today, Sweet Miss,
I'll warm it in my heart, stirred with
A dozen hundred kisses
And just to make it special, just
to make my niece a nice thing,
I'll top it off with rainbow dust
and sugared snow flake icing.
And I will send it to my niece
Upon this sun's last few beams,
So when it rises in the east
You'll find it in your new dreams.
Till then, take care of your sweet self,
my dear and darling Megan,
and dress up warm. (Does Mommy help
you put your arm and leg in?)
Good-bye, good-bye for now at least,
and may God smile above you,
my own snow angel of a niece
And may God always love you!
Then, on the back of the envelope he wrote.
be sure to wear
A glad face and a glad dress;
And write me here
again this year.
Please note the change of address!