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  • Writer's pictureChloe Roweth


David’s earliest memory… Christmas, and clinging koala-like to his dear Nan’s hip, and waltzing giddy “You are my sunshine, my only…” How old? He’s tiny… He must’ve been two, three tops. The recollection is golden joyous.

Now it’s Christmas, David is fifty-one, and Nan is dying. He gathers his own family, smallest child on hip, and sings into the microphone “I dreamt I held you in my arms.” He drops the recording onto CD, piles kids in car, and drives the six hours to his Nan in less than five.

Nan is holding on at home - David’s first home - for her beloved Christmas. They help Nan to her chair, and put up decorations - willing her over the line to Christmas time. No one is confident, but David looks in her eyes and has a shy hope that she’ll make it. The angel on high on tree, they sit and play Nan her recorded gift.

“Our song”, Nan’s spirits lift and she manages a chorus “You make me happy, when skies are grey.”

David and the kids swing in, “You’ll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take…” No one completes the chorus.

Nan is so small, so reduced, that he could have taken her on his hip. They hold hands, and her eyes smile sunshine tears.

He can’t leave… Until - he leaves - the kids sleep in silence. He “hung his head and cried.”

Nan made Christmas, then flew away into song.

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