Painting ©2018 John Clark III
Christmas in two days. I haven't been too crazy about Christmas for awhile -- probably since my mother died. That was way back in 2000. I think maybe I stopped being a kid then. Hell, I was 43 years old, but mama just had this way of making you feel good and loved and happy. Everything kind of changed when she died.
Holidays with mama around were a lot of fun. She always made it fun. Her house was always decorated, inside and out, lots of presents under the tree, and she was always cooking. Grandma was there, and my brother and sister. My sister's kids. My kids. Way back when, even Paw Paw was there. When mama died, though, the family detonated. She was kind of the glue that held everything together, and now it's fallen completely apart. My brother and sister and I don't speak, and probably never will again. My dad is still around, but we don't see each other very often.
The holidays are just not the same.
My oldest daughter, Stacy, lives a thousand miles away in North Carolina. One stepson lives in Ohio, and the other in Bosnia, so no grandkids around to light up the room. We don't even bother to decorate our house, even though there's an attic full of Christmas stuff. Maybe we should. Make the house a little merrier. Do what mama used to do. I don't know.
This year, we do have some exciting plans, though. My youngest daughter, Katy, is coming over to spend Christmas day. She lives nearby with her mother, and we're going to exchange gifts and cook a nice dinner and rent some movies or something. Then on Friday, Katie and I will drive down to Houston to visit my childhood friends, Bobby and Joe, and their wives. We'll have dinner Friday, play golf on Saturday at a beautiful course in The Woodlands, and then have dinner Saturday night.
And maybe next year, we'll drag down all those decorations from the attic and make some damn Christmas cookies. Hand 'em out to the neighbors or something. Mama always made Christmas cookies. That was so much fun, decorating 'em with the icing that you squeezed out of the little parchment thing, or whatever, and putting the red hots and sprinkles and stuff on 'em. We'd roll out the dough and use food coloring and all kinds of different cookie cutters to make Santa-shaped cookies and reindeer, Christmas trees, candy canes, stars. Man, that was a lot of fun.
If mama were here, that's what she'd be doing.
A few reviews of John's books
The 30-Day Optimism Solution:
“Part memoir, part informative text. You get both when reading 'Depression Blues' by John H. Clark III. Mr. Clark shares his struggles with depression in an honest and real way, and as the book progresses, so does his hope. Woven into the story as jumping off points are bits of information about depression and ways to "conquer" the sadness, loneliness, and despair that comes with it.
Mr. Clark becomes more than an author in this book; he becomes a friend who understands the pain of depression and provides light. I recommend this book to anyone looking for light or to anyone who knows someone with depression and wants to learn more.”
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