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It was 1998 when I wrote this story

about a little tree I bought for my Dad.

He treasured it to the day he died.

It is now 1999, my Mom died this year.



Yesterday started off in the usual way. For me anyway.

Tape player ate my tape. "But that's OK I knew this would happen" so it was only a dub

of JM's latest!

Got ready for my "time out" swimming at the college.

Had to get Ryan together also, and bring him, as after swimming, and hubby's exams, we would be leaving for My Family's Christmas thing, in another town.

Stopped at the post office, this had to be the day! JM's Art Book was mailed priority Tuesday!

Sure enough, yellow slip calling me to window! I said, "OHHHHHH I hope it's from Indiana!" They said yes!

I looked and it was a large envelope....... I hadn't seen this art book yet, but I knew it had to be thicker, and in a box.

DON, thank you! I loved what you sent me! And you might have saved a couple of postal workers..... :-)

NEXT, I headed up to where my friend lives, to meet her and go swimming. I usually ride with her, but because of my family's thing, we were taking separate cars.

It wasn't long before I could see Jan, blinking her lights at me.

OK, driving too fast? Too slow?

So I stopped, and she yells out, Jayne, you have a flat tire.

UH-HUH :-(

Back into town. Left car at garage. Rode with Jan.

We did our swimming, then hubby found us, and we all headed back to town. Garage was closed, but my car was outside with keys, and flat tire, wasn't flat anymore. So we drove home.

Now instead of being 3 hours late, we were four hours late.

Roads were bad on the way up the heights, and we knew we had to face Bear MT RD

(very steep and would be very windy), to get to my brother's.

so I missed my family's Christmas.

Mom said it was OK, she understood. My Aunt and Uncle had left already because of the roads.

So I had time to think about things.

(I do that sometimes).

Three years ago, we all were in Lebanon, NH on Christmas Eve.

A few days before, my Dad had a triple by-pass.

Took a lot of money that year, driving back and forth, 120 something miles, one way. Bringing Mom back and forth, an added 50 miles. sometimes staying over.

My poor Mom paying for most of the gas and hotel.

That Christmas Eve, we all got kicked out of Dad's room for awhile, so everyone dispersed.

I went down and wondered around the gift shop. HMMMMM a cup of coffee,

or some LITTLE THING for Dad.

Down to my last dollar.

But, I couldn't let Dad wake up on Christmas day, without a tree.

And there was one hanging there in the gift shop.

It was a little green tree, made of wire. The wire had been soddered onto a round base, and more wire circled around in an odd way, making it into a tree. Sprayed green, then little red balls were soddered onto it.

Price was $1.00.

So I got it.

When we could go in again, I gave that little tree to my Dad.

I don't think I'd ever seen his eyes light up, the way they did when he saw that tree.

I kissed him, and told him I'd be back the next afternoon with Mom, and the tree was for him to look at, and know we were coming down as soon as we could, he wouldn't be spending Christmas Day alone.

The next year, I dropped into my Mom and Dad's, a week before Christmas. I asked Dad, "Why don't you two have a tree up?" My Dad told me they did.

He pointed to the TV stand. There was that little green tree. Mom said "you know, your father really loves that little tree." So they had the 4 inch tall little wire tree that year.

Last year, Dad made sure that little green wire tree was out, even though he wasn't feeling well.

We were into January and Dad was in a hospital bed in the dining room by then.

Up on a stand were pictures of the family, and The Lord, and with them, there was that little tree.

He told me over and over how much he liked it. And he had it there to look at, because it made him happy.

On Jan. 17, my Dad asked me, "Do you see the little tree?" I told him yes.

I also told him, "I love you Dad." He said, "I love you Jayne."

The next day my Dad died before I could get there.

Before I could bring his brand new Great Grandson to meet him,

This year Mom, handed something to me. It was the little green wire Christmas tree. "Your Dad would want you to have this".

Now I'm facing the first Christmas without my Dad.

But the little tree is on top of the piano, right in the middle.

And I really do thank God, I didn't choose to have coffee with that last dollar.

That little wire Christmas Tree, brought my Dad so much happiness.

When I look up and see it, I remember how his eyes lit up,

like I'd just given him a million dollars.



Christmas 1998


It's 1999 and now I'm facing

the first Christmas without my Dad, AND my Mom.






John Mellencamp


AND my MOM told me


The Little Green Wire Christmas Tree
"It was a little green tree, made of wire. The wire had been soddered onto a round base, and more wire circled around in an odd way, making it into a tree. Sprayed green, then little red balls were soddered onto it."

Price was $1.00.

Gasper Brandon Edward Maxwell


Gasper, My Dad's Great Grandson

only four days old, never got to meet his Great Grampa.

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