My mother wrote my full given name, always, everywhere. She addressed letters, cards and notes to “Mary Corinne Corley”. Though she might shorten the name to just plain “Mary” in conversation, she took care to use both when speaking for prosperity.
So, my entire childhood: Each Christmas package bore a label with these words:
Merry Christmas to Mary Corinne
My house lies quietly in the winter air. I’ve brewed coffee and Katrina’s Christmas bun stands waiting on the table. In an hour, Patrick and I will present ourselves at the Hope Faith daycenter in Kansas City’s northeast, to serve as second-shift greeters.
My son has given me the gift of his time this year. Oh, I know he’s wrapped something for under the tree, but more importantly to me, he’s done everything I asked him to do this week. He’s squired me around town and kept pace with my need for help at the house. We’ve shopped, delivered gifts and meals, broken bread with some friends, and sipped cocktails with others. We’ve watched Netflix, talked about literature, and even faced a bit of tension not of his making but of mine, my own foolishness, letting negativity into my life and not knowing how to find calm. He stood by me through that; he stood strong.
As the calendar year draws nearer to its close, I can honestly say that I have no complaints. Oh, sure, I might change a few situations in my life, if I had a magic wand to wave. But maybe not. Perhaps I would wave that wand inward, to let my joy release itself. I think so. I hope so.
Merry Christmas, everyone. My wish for you today is simple:
May love surround you.
Six days left in the twenty-fourth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
Mary Corinne Teresa Corley
Brookside, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
25 December 2015