Christmas is over! The last of the car doors slam shut with one final thud. She watches close as they back slow out of the narrow concrete driveway. Little Molly and Jimmie start to scuffle in the backseat as Jimmie yanks a piece of Molly’s long brown braided hair. She has just spent a wonderful Christmas with her four grown children, their wives, and seven grandchildren. Tires snug tight against the drive and turn inward as the hot rubber lets out one short and soft squeak. Time and wisdom has marked her face with the wrinkles of many Christmas days spent together. She waves, sad that the family must leave at the end of this very special day. She continues to wave her limp wrist hand until they are out of her sight.
Smoke from the exhaust slowly dissipates as she turns and trudges towards the front door. Her head is bowed down and arms hang low to each side. She clutches the handle of the screen door and she feels pinprick like pain in her arthritic hand. The hinges of the door creak as she enters. Alva turns, staring back through the woven wire in the screen into a past moment of time. Time has once again evaporated like the exhaust. Christmas is over and so she is alone again. Her husband of thirty-five years passed away three years ago this last spring. She must continue to face this day and this life alone. It’s especially difficult after Christmas when everyone has spent such a wonderful time together. Then it hits her hard again. Christmas is really over! Tears stream down her face on both sides as she stands alone staring through the screen door frozen by thoughts of time spent together with her dear husband. She recalls their many years together and all of the many Christmases gone by with the family.
Then her face brightens as she raises her arm and wipes the tears from her face with the sleeve of her dress. Alva recalls the many happy times she has had with her husband and family together. She smiles and thanks the good LORD for those many times that he has granted in her life. Yes Christmas is over and she is thankful for those times gone by. She pushes the door shut and clutches the memories in her heart. She holds on as tight as she can!