Posted by: jeannineatkins | December 7, 2009

Shadows and Color

I love bringing some green into the house come December, and putting out things that sparkle. But it’s also a time of year when I think about people who aren’t around to share the holidays. Yesterday two men were in our home without their wives. I went to my friend Robyn’s memorial service eight years ago, Pat’s just this spring.

I felt a sort of shadow beside these strong and dear men. Sometimes I write to call up the presences of people I still love. But I try, too, not to allow grief, which rises and falls, to keep me from enjoying the color and life still all around. Pat’s husband will be with us at Christmas. Robyn’s seventeen-year-old just made a movie date with me. These things and many others make me happy. And here’s a picture of my friend Jess who brought flowers yesterday. I’m bringing that enormous bright bouquet into my writing room today.



  1. Me, too. I’ve been thinking about my husband’s father and especially about his brother, who died almost a year ago. But hanging the wreath on the door this evening brought the festive spirit closer.

  2. *Hugs*

  3. Holding you in my heart, Jeannine. And wishing you lots of light.

  4. This will be a hard holiday for you, but I’m glad you’re sharing it with Pat’s husband. And yay for the bright flowers. Sending some hugs to go with them!

  5. What a beautiful picture!
    Hugs to you, Jeannine–I’m glad you have those gorgeous flowers in your writing room.

  6. Kathy, that was so beautifully put. I’m sending my warmest wishes. I’m so glad you have a wreath!

  7. Thanks!

  8. Thanks, Amy. Light sent by friends is welcome during these shorter days. Sending some back to you.

  9. Thanks, Becky. Your hugs are very good ones!

  10. Thanks, Lorraine. It was quite a picture from my kitchen to see Jess dressed in black with an armful of flowers — I grabbed my camera before hurrying out to greet her.
    There are a few roses tucked in there. At one point I was writing with my nose nestled right in.

  11. You are a beautiful friend. xoxo

  12. The holidays are bitter-sweet that way.

  13. wreath party
    That’s a great picture of Jess. The get together was wonderful and always a little bittersweet due to the passing of time and people with it. Hopefully, we will have many more years to be doing this together!

  14. wreath party
    Sorry, I wasn’t logged in. That post is from Ellen.

  15. Debbi, thank you: you are such a great friend to so many.

  16. Yes, maybe it’s not just that we grow up and don’t get many times, but we’re on the lookout for people who used to be around but are not in the flesh.

  17. Re: wreath party
    I’m glad you like the picture of Jess! Pat and I saw her from the kitchen, black coat against white snow, with her arms full of red, yellow, and orange. I couldn’t make it quick enough to get that whole vision, but something closer has more of Jess’s beauty.
    I’ll be thinking of you and your family a lot this holiday season, Ellen. Though I know things never get TOO quiet in the house!

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