When someone is born on Christmas Day, there is something extra special about them. At least I think so. To share that blessed day must be reserved for a special few.
Grandma O'Malley was born on Christmas Day back in 1898. She had beautiful soft, pure white hair worn neatly tucked in a bun. She only wore dresses. Every day. And she made amazing cakes filled with layers of creamy chocolate or smeared with gobs of orange pulpy frosting.
She was always kind and sometimes quiet...sometimes chatty. She would always dry the dishes after Sunday dinner at Mom and Dad's house. She would stay into the evening and watch Lawrence Welk with us. She tolerated my dancing on the wood between the parlors, something I'm not so sure my four siblings wholeheartedly appreciated :)
She lived on the third floor of a black tenement. Her home smelled of Sunday roasts and had a huge farmhouse sink that I coveted even as a little girl. Only now do I realize how out of place that sink was, way up high in this triple decker home overlooking a schoolyard in the city.
She had cellophane wrapped sour balls in a glass candy dish on her kitchen table…right near the radio.
I'd sit on the prickly textured armchair and look out at the schoolyard . A drone's eye view of the world down below was silhouetted by her palest of pink Christmas cactus.
Years later, long after her passing, Dad brought me a piece of her cactus. It's blooming now. Rubbery leaves give way to delicate blossoms filled with hot pink stamens and childhood memories.
Did I mention that Grandma O'Malley also passed on Christmas Day, eighty some odd years after her birth on that blessed day? Her legacy is on my windowsill, framing the life that surrounds it….children laughing….frosted cakes….and endless chatter.