Christmas and Internal Organs

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned before how much I loved spending Christmas with my grandmother. And not because of presents. Because with my father’s side of the family, who worked as missionaries for a lot of their lives and then bounced around the country working for churches for the entirety of my life, the presents weren’t the good part.

The good part was my grandmother’s laugh. Her enthusiasm at the prospect of having her family close to her and to be able to giggle with us and give us the look that said “ooohh…you’re a cheeky one!” while scolding us in Norwegian. (She always called us the Norwegian equivalent of “rascal” when we said or did something sassy…but she was always saying it through a chuckle.) The good part was her homemade fruit soup and helping her make lefse (which basically meant getting in flour fights with my uncle and sister while SHE made lefse) and getting to smother it in butter and cinnamon when it was still warm. The best part was listening to her sing out of tune in church and putting my head on her shoulder during the sermon (even after I considered myself to be way too old to be affectionate with family members).

Naturally, since she is no longer around to make it feel like Christmas, I get a little sad. This afternoon, I had turned down my music just enough that I could hear the person on the other end of the telephone and had forgotten to turn it up again when the phone call was over. Very faintly, I heard, “Grandma got run over by a reindeer, walking home from our house Christmas Eve…” from the desk beside me and nearly peed myself. Because that is the one song that my grandmother would not sing. Not even out of tune. (That and the one about the monkeys that jumped on the bed…but that was mainly because I sang it so much from the years of 1983-1985, that it took her until she died to get it out of her head.)

All this, and I think that the point of this whole post was that I finally, after 4 years, wrote a letter to be forwarded to the recipient of my grandma’s liver. It was one of those things that I was meaning to do, and meaning to do, and meaning to do, but never did. And I finally did it. About two weeks ago. I put it into an envelope (addressed not to the recipient because they can’t tell me who it is without permission), attached a stamp, and set it on my dresser. Where it has been and is currently sitting, collecting dust. For some reason, the idea of knowing that some other person has part of my grandmother inside of them isn’t so bad, but the idea of actually communicating with only that part of my grandmother…(or a whole different person who is not my grandmother except that ONE part)…is a little weird. But I do want to know that he or she is doing well. And I want to know that they appreciate the gift that they were given. And, well, I want them to know that my grandma was the best effing human being ON. THE. PLANET. Because if they are going to use her organs, they should know that they came from a saint.

And really…this post got really long all of a sudden…Oops.

“You may say there’s no such thing as Santa, but as for me and Grandpa, we believe…”

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