Snow, fireplace, linden tea, the sound of carols, my mother’s cake, my father cutting the wood… I remember. I remember the peace and the joy. I remember the laughter, the noise of unpacking the presents, the clink of the glasses filled with red wine. I remember all the moments I never appreciated, and today I feel the guilt for being a pretentious child that never understood the bliss of living those moments, I feel the gnawing wrongfulness of taking those moments for granted. My mother told me that my presence in my room is still felt even though I took off everything that would remind her of me. 

So, today, on this Christmas day spent so far from home I am asking myself if the chair I was supposed to sit on at the Christmas brunch brings nostalgia to the table. I am asking myself whether my absence is felt like the cloudy sky that is screaming with thunder in a hot and dry afternoon of July as everyone is waiting for the rain but nobody knows when it will come. To think that people feel your absence is a very comforting thought because this would mean that you brought value to their lives. 

Did I bring value to my siblings’, my parents’, my friends’ lives? I hope so… But more than that, I hope that they are still laughing, despite the fact that the rain will not come soon. I hope the clink of the glasses is still echoing in the dayroom, I hope the noise of unpacking the presents still loads everyone with excitement, I hope my siblings, my parents, my friends understand the bliss of living those moments together. I hope they are not waiting for the rain. And I hope they don’t have to feed themselves with memories, in order to feel the peace and the joy of Christmas day.

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