I love the Christkindl market.

I love the rows of shops lined up like stalls in a wooden stable. I love the strudel and the streusel and the giant pretzels, salted or cinmamon’d. I love the handmade ornaments and the ribbon candy. I love the booths of woolen scarves with sequins and mittens that look like hedgehogs.

Our tradition: we make one round through, and then we stop and have dinner at Tokyo Joe’s. Because nothing says Christmas like Texas rolls dipped in Teriyaki. Then we go back for our second loop through, usually for Tucker to get the “rainbow pretzel” which is actually caramel-chocolate-whipped-cream-and-sprinkles, and it really could be called a German word that means “covered in awesome.”

We were wandering through the sea of people, and there was a dialogue happening behind me. The girlfriend-wife wanted a mug of the German mulled wine. The boyfriend-husband didn’t want to wait in the long line.

“But the line doesn’t seem that long,” she said.

“But it is. And the mug is, what, seven dollars? With the fluid in it?”

“I think so, with the drink in it.”

“I can get you one of those mugs – without the fluid – at a German shop, or somewhere else where we don’t have to wait in line.”

“But that one says Merry Christmas on it.”

“Fine. Then I’ll get you one at a German holiday shop. It’ll cost three bucks.”

Goodness. First of all, stop calling it fluid.

Second, what’s the big deal? These things are fleeting, sir. The walks in the shops and the moments and the asks.

Wait in the line, dude. Just be with her. She wants a mug of mulled wine. Buy her the mug. And the drink. Be with her.

When the mug sits on the shelf, she’ll remember how you waited in line to love her in a silly little way. It’s not that big of a deal, that little sacrifice.

But she stopped asking. And they went on their way.

***

Today is the Remembering Day. It’s been eight years, the life span of a third grader.

The memories are in a tidy box, and I’m leaving them there today. Sometimes you choose to open them, sometimes you don’t. Today, I won’t.  When you were sad for a long time, and now you’re not, you let it be. Without apology.

Today, my friends, I feel healed and whole.

Healing is a miracle, every time.  Whether it’s a broken bone or a broken heart.

I rejoice with tidings of comfort and joy.  In this home, we are joyful and triumphant.

The moments are fleeting. Just wait in the line sometimes.

The little things become the big things.

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