Jeri k Tory Conklin


Saving for "That Day..."


We have all done it, right? Saved some memory, a piece of clothing, a picture, some dish(es) that caught our eyes at the store last week for “that day.” That day, we visualize in the future with perhaps only ourselves in it, doing something that we have longed to do if we were unencumbered and able to make it happen

Dishes - My "That Day..."

I have 3 sets of dishes – beautiful bright colored ones from Mexico – that remind me to celebrate every day with an explosion of color. My mom bought them for me one year for my birthday. My soul cried out the moment I saw them. She bought them, I brought them home and unpacked them. The first day I used them, my husband broke a bowl. I packed them back up, and they have traveled with me for 20 years. One day, that day, I will be in my own home, and I will unpack and use them. If I break one, it will be an accident, and I will go on.


      The second set I just bought one place setting of. Beautiful hand thrown pottery, crème coloured outside with ocean blue starfish painted here and there. I love them. I drank coffee out of the cup every time my husband was gone, feeling like I was back at the beach. Standing by water’s edge, transported back in time. Looking out to sea and waiting… always waiting. One day he would return, or so he promised. I enjoyed them for a short week, before packing them away once again until that day came – when I was at the beach in my own home and no longer must stand at water’s edge waiting.

          The third set is a winter of tall hot chocolate mugs decorated with the cutest snowmen. I did not celebrate Christmas the year I bought them. I could not do it anymore. Christmas was a time of magic for me. As children growing up, my mom painted the front windows with a Christmas scene. She always surprised us, and it was always beautiful. Our tree would be live cut, green and so fresh smelling.


About a week before that big night, we would count the presents, because every day it seemed like one or more were added. My mother was a military widow with three children. I have no clue how she made ends meet or if they ever did, but at Christmas we felt like we were the richest kids around. Santa may have only brought us one gift, but it was usually that one thing we “really” wanted.

          I tried to carry that magic on for my own daughter. I think I did okay, not sure how she would see it. I did the best I could. When she moved out and on with her own family, it was not the same, some magic left with her. My husband made a decent effort – I would tell him what I wanted, and he would get me something totally different, something he “thought” I wanted. Maybe I could use it, most times not. Each year, I kept hoping it would be different, but it was not. Christmas lost the magic feeling, and I could no longer celebrate it.

          For a few years, I would just buy what I wanted and let him wrap it up and say it was from him. That lie wore out quickly, but from the outside, it looked like we were having a wonderful Christmas. Finally, I just stopped doing Christmas altogether. It was easier to go on a cruise over Christmas than to get all the decorations up, a tree done the way he wanted it (big lights, gaudy balls). No room to pack presents, someone else took care of the decorations, and we would have Christmas in some far away country around the world. We usually had next Christmas’s cruise booked before we left the ship.

          I’m older now, having come through 4 years of medical hell thanks to western medicine and a broken medical system. I want to spend whatever remaining years I have with my own kind of Christmas, the one like I remember from childhood. I want to put up my collection of Christmas memorabilia, a small fir tree with magical twinkling lights of all colors, no balls.

If I can find the Christmas decorations my daughter made me when she was little, I will add those. I want a wreath on the front door to tell the world – Christmas lives here. I want to use my Christmas snow men hot chocolate mugs and not have to worry that they will be broken in an effort to destroy my happiness. I want to give myself my own gift this year, the gift of freedom, the gift of a happy spirit after all these years. Most of all, I want to wake up to a dusting of snow. It is time to stop leaving coal in my stocking and leave the apple, orange, nuts, and small gift from Santa, obviously, the one I didn’t buy for myself.

          It is okay to save for “that day”, but only if you make sure that day comes sooner rather than later.


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