Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas carols is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The line where they sing, “through the years, we all will be together, if the Fates allow,” appeals to me. Amid all the rocking around the clock and jingle bell hopping, there is that one discordant note reminding us that every Christmas can be our last. 

On my 22nd Christmas, my father passed away. After the traditional Christmas Eve dinner, including the old man telling stories of his youth over dessert, he shuffled off to bed. Having been ill for several years, he would get to bed early most nights, including this one. When I headed out, I kissed him goodbye, wished him a Merry Christmas, and told him I loved him. Afterward, he went into a sleep from which he never woke. His passing on that particular night made Christmas for me an


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