Everyone has different memories of the same event. To hear my mom tell the story, we had salmon and champagne every Christmas Eve. To hear my dad tell the story, we had an explosive familial fight every Christmas Eve. All I remember is the blender.
What we can all agree on is that every Christmas Eve, we’d pick up my Uncle Stephen from the nursing home. My mom’s brother was born with cerebral palsy, he was not able to walk or talk, but my mom had a near-telepathic communication ability with him. She’d moved him from his nursing home in Virginia down to Georgia so she could take care of him.
The halls were lit with a fluorescent glow. The nursing staff were working long, thankless hours under the paper snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. On the doors to the building was a large poster, “DO NOT BRING POINSETTIAS TO THE RESIDENTS.” I was filled in later that this was due to the fact that some of the residents had taken to eating the poisonous crimson flower. We’d walk to the end of the hall,