When I was growing up in Phoenix, my family would buy a live Christmas tree for the holidays, then plant it in the back yard next to the cacti and creosote shrubs when the holidays fizzled out.
Christmas tree shopping in France isn’t quite the same experience as in Arizona. No boy scouts. The trees are from Turkey and super small. I bought a live one this year, though, and planted it in front of our house yesterday. I was thinking of the year-in-end, Eloise was playing with dirt, and Cash was surveying us.
2012.There were some rough days in there along with some great memories. Top 10 would be:
1.Bringing Eloise to Phoenix this summer, chilling with my parents, seeing my brother and sister, smelling the desert air.
2.Playing for the Prince of Monaco at his ball thing.
3.Playing music with my next door neighbors in their garage from time to time, after-hours and when Eloise was in bed. I love them.
4.Seeing the mountains of Corsica up-close and in person- I had only admired them from afar, from the mainland of Cabris. Being at their feet, even if it was on a ferry with my family in law, was magical.
5.On that same trip to Corsica: Eloise saying “mama” (and meaning it) for the first time, in my arms, under the sun, wading in the sea. It was like a marriage proposal. Heart-melter.
6.Having a pizza with Francois the other night in Cannes: our first time in too long to be away and alone together.
7.Teaching a first harp lesson to a new student, fresh ears, clean slate--- it’s an honor to teach a first lesson! Such a responsibility, if you ask me.
8.Getting to know Anita, my Nepalese au pair friend
9.Inviting my friend Santiago to Cabris this summer for a harp masterclass, all the way from La Mexique, being inspired by his mere presence, and thanking God to have him as a friend
10. Wearing Eloise everywhere, seemingly. In particular: the strawberry patch in back this summer. Those were some sweet mornings, picking strawberries and passing them over my back to be grasped by a little hand and devoured.
I was thinking about some of the rough days and wondering if it was time to forgive anyone that pissed me off in 2012. Ding! It was immediately obvious: the general practitioner in Cabris.
My parents came to visit this Spring, and my mom caught a bug on the plane over. She was not herself, and her state was worsened because of her multiple sclerosis. I took her to see the doctor in Cabris, and in his cold manner, he prescribed medicine. We were sure to be sure that he had the list of her current medications, but sure enough, he prescribed something that was never meant to fly with something she was already taking. Bad to worse. Days later, we finally realized what was going on.
I have hands-down never been so angry. “Angry” doesn’t cover it. I was shaking with rage towards this man. I exploded on him in his office, in front of other patients, demanding a humble apology that never came. I was furious for my mother’s sake, to see her as she was and to know that it could have been helped. Thinking of that day brings the hot tears back into my eyes.
To this day, when I see the guy driving around in his little orange car, I shiver. But the truth: he’s just a guy that messed up. It was a mistake. Mistakes are unintentional. The dude didn’t mean to destroy my parent’s visit and put my mother into an utter mess. It happened.
I mess up, too.
Hate sucks. I didn’t realize it was making me ugly until I was digging a hole for the tiny Turkish Christmas tree. It’s got to be done: Cabris doctor, I forgive you for messing up and hurting my mom. I’m letting it go. I’m letting you go. Forgiveness with no holds barred. Over.
Back to the hole, I wondered what’s in store for 2013. We rang in the New Year with pancakes and pajamas this morning with rain outside. Quiet start.
And for the infamous New Year’s resolution: I’ve got it in my heart to do less and “be” more. It’s an ongoing project and I’ve made some huge strides thanks to Eloise, but I’ve still got a ways to go.
I like seeing the little tree out front, letting its roots do what they do, adapting to its new life in France. Welcome to chez nous, little tree.
Happy New Year, and best wishes for us all in 2013.