Friday, December 05, 2008

3. Surprise

I worried the trash bag under the Christmas tree meant I had been bad. My mother laughed. "We were out of paper, honey. And I was tired." In the trash bag was a gorgeous stuffed bear, not like a toy, but like a real bear, a Kodiak, with realistic mottled fur. Later, I heard my parents fight about the bear. She'd spent more than a hundred dollars. She'd driven all the way to Maine. Still, I can't blame my mother for going to so much trouble, just for some silly bear, that Christmas that was the model of a perfect Christmas ever after, the last Christmas she was alive.

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