Sad Christmas Tale

Let me tell you a story. Sad for our family. Tragic for another.

Look in photo albums of my generation, and perhaps the generation on either side, and you will find lots of Christmas photos. Decorated trees, children getting larger – or are the trees getting smaller – as the dates change below the trees. Children posed with packages or new toys and big smiles.

We had a Christmas without pictures. Our children were small, they ripped open packages, hammed it up for the camera with bows, surprised faces, and new toys. This was before digital and yes, we did have film in the camera. (That error came later.)

The day after Christmas we put the holiday film into the envelope for transport to the developer of our choice via US Postal Service.  The substitue carrier picked it up, put it with her other recieved items, and continued on her route.

Then tragedy — high on alcohol and bad intentions the carrier was stopped, dragged from her vehicle. By the end of the day she was dead – her husband and two children left with a bottomless hole in their lives.  A fire started in her car destroyed our film and much of the other mail – for the remainder of her route and intended for out of the city.

Do I miss the photos – yes, I think about them, especially at this time of year.

But my loss was small.  Their loss – the substitute mail carrier and her family – they lost more than colored paper. Children grew up without their mother.

Yes, the men were arrested, confessed and served their sentences.

Yet the fact remains. Children grew up without their mother.

Give thanks this season for the mother that raised you.

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