I must have been in third grade or so. I can still remember unwrapping it in the arched doorway between the living room and the dining room in that tiny little house on West 114th. It was a little electric organ, I was stunned. I still cry as I write about what thoughtfulness and sacrifice my Mother must have made to squeeze that out of the budget in a house of nine children and one grandma. We had been to visit family friends, the Domitrovichs’ the summer before and while there I had visited their daughter (only daughter) room. She was a wonderful thoughtful girl who let us play with all her toys and I in particular had been fascinated with her little electric organ. My mother had come in to fetch me when I hadn’t come out to her repeated callings for dinner, and I can still see in her face the puzzlement as she looked at me trying to play that organ. Now I know it was recognition, and she was stamping it in her memory how I loved that organ. And that Christmas she remembered and somehow found the money for it.
And I remember opening it, and looking over to her and being just so so amazed that in the turmoil of all of the things to do and take care of she had remembered. It brings me to tears today. While I never became a concert pianist, i like to think I am a much more thoughtful person and a much better Mom and friend because I was taught that Christmas the power of being remembered.
For some visual stimulation to those great memories of Christmas past go to …http://www.clevelandmemory.org/ take a look here for old christmas time memories in the Cleveland area…just type in Christmas in the search field in the upper right hand corner and see what happens. Too much fun! Merry Christmas!