i hold the treasure lightly in both hands before placing it at eye level on the evergreen tree

tears burn as i remember the boy who fashioned pipe cleaners and tinfoil into a Christmas bell, a string of paper stars and ancient cranberries, school pictures glued to bits of old greeting cards

they all hold a special place, marking time, physical reminders of your passing through our lives

but this one…

carved by your eight year old hands, your name scrawled on one side of this little wooden heart…on the other ‘i love you mom and dad’

the sweetness of boyhood, the wonder of Christmas, the heartbreak of loss are here in my hand