Christmas Past

I’ve been looking through some old photos of my sister and me when we were kids. We always looked happiest in our pictures together. I guess even with all the turmoil we both endured as children, having each other made it bearable.

I absolutely adored my little sister. Oh, we had our problems, but I always loved her. Looking back on those old photos, it appears the feeling was mutual. We hugged a lot, danced together and looked generally happy and comfortable in each other’s company.

On Christmas mornings, Julie and I were awake by 4:00. We didn’t dare wake the parents, but we would sneak into the living room to see if Santa had been there.

The next two hours felt like an eternity, but we would wait together either in her bed or in mine, giggling in anticipation and trying to guess what was hidden beneath the pretty wrappings and bows.

Those days never ended as well as they started. But I’m not going into all that.

Julie died eight years ago this coming February. She was thirty years old. It’s hard to believe that the vibrant little girl in those old Christmas photos is gone. She’s gone and the world keeps turning, people keep going and life moves on.

Sometimes it just doesn’t seem real.

I don’t really know what I’m trying to say here. My thoughts and feelings are all over the place. I want to play this song in Julie’s memory tonight, in memory of the good times we shared and the bad times we helped each other endure. The song was special to Julie, and it speaks a lot to how I feel tonight, particularly the chorus:

And now I’m glad I didn’t know,
The way it all would end,
The way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain,
But I’d have had to miss the dance.

Maybe you’ll enjoy it too.

The Dance
Garth Brooks

Looking back on the memory of,
The dance we shared,
‘Neath the stars above.
For a moment all the world was right.
How could I have known,
That you’d ever say goodbye?

And now I’m glad I didn’t know,
The way it all would end,
The way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain,
But I’d have had to miss the dance.

Holding you, I held everything.
For a moment, wasn’t I a king?
But if I’d only known,
How the king would fall.
Hey, who’s to say, you know,
I might have changed it all.

And now I’m glad I didn’t know,
The way it all would end,
The way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain,
But I’d have had to miss the dance.

Yes my life, it’s better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain,
But I’d have had to miss the dance.

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