Christmas, 1974. Young, newly married. A scrawny little tree, what was often called a "Charlie Brown" tree. No ornaments, a little Raggedy Ann knitted hand-puppet up on top.
Throughout our "courtship", I had always given you cards with bears on them. So off I went, somewhere lost in memory, and bought a Christmas card with a bear and one little bear ornament.
And so on through the years, more bear cards until today, a scrapbook rests on a bookshelf with several hundred bear cards pasted into it.
Christmas, 1975, a second bear ornament. And so on through the years ~ more and more bear ornaments. Until in recent years, our Christmas tree, whether small and scrawny, or tall and full was covered with bears.
Christmas, 2012, here is your bear ornament, Poppy. I miss you so much, and I will always love you. And every Christmas if you'll just spend a moment with me, whisper in my ear, brush your hand against my cheek, or best yet, burst forth with that raucous laugh of yours ~ I will know you are there, and I will gift you with a new bear to hang on our tree.