Today would have been my sister Robin's 53rd birthday and I've been singing HB to her all day long! She loved for everyone to make a fuss over her on her special day.
It was also the date that she liked to have her Christmas tree up. Now that all of her ornaments and tree have been handed down to me I try to have it up by Dec 13th, but I rarely make it in time.
This year I made it in time.
So the tree is assembled, and I've hung all the lights and put the tree skirt around it and now I have to hang the ornaments she loved so much and took so much care to collect.
This Christmas tree IS Robin.
After a fire in the family home in 1989, along with the insurance settlement to replace the items that were stored in the attic, Robin bought all new Christmas ornaments and became an avid collector of specialty ornaments. Primarily Barbie items. She had oodles of other Barbie items she'd collected and saved from her childhood.
The tree lights are all on those little timers that made them fade in and out, or you can light them up one color at a time, adjust the speed and other fun things. I honestly don't think I've ever seen her as happy as when we were all gathered around the Christmas tree that she so lovingly decorated.
Two months after she passed I was putting up her tree for the first time and I was going through the ornaments and opened one up to find a surprise note from Robin expressing her love to us all. She may as well have been saying "I'm still here. Please don't forget about me!"
I feel extremely close to her this time of year. As soon as the tree comes out of storage I start smiling and don't stop until, well, I always smile each time I think of Robin. "I know you are still here with me and I'll never ever forget about you."