‘This is my gift to you’
FRIDAY, December 25 – They were all there. Grandpa and Grandma, Uncle Jim and Aunt Missy, their Conor and Ceara, Uncle Chris and his daughter Marina, Uncle Paul and Aunt Barbara, their Tommie and Grace, Uncle Pete and Margaret, Sander and Eamonn and me.
Of course, it was difficult. What did I expect? They were all there because you weren’t there. Everyone except you. Where are you? The day went by in a daze. So glad that Christmas is over. Thank God there will be no Second Christmas Day in America as there is in Holland. Around nine-thirty I sneak out. I’ve had enough.
I cry on Eamonn’s hand-written Christmas card. ‘Happy Holidays’ it says on the front and inside:
‘Dear Papa, For all the shit we have gone through, this is my gift. The best presents don’t come in boxes. The best presents come from your heart. I hope you’ll treasure this one forever. From Eamonn.’