This year's chronicle, dear readers,
Once again has rhymes and meters,
But the tone’s not quite the same as other years.
Every time that I get started,
I'm reminded who's departed
And I can't see what I'm typing through the tears.

Without caution or forewarning,
We awoke one early morning
In mid-winter February once again.
It was Warren calling Mother
With bad news about his brother,
Only this time it was telling of the end.

So we drove up in a hurry,
As our overriding worry
Was now Warren and how he was going to cope
With the sudden transformation
Of his living situation,
That for Grant there was no longer any hope.

We arrived with apprehension
Of the sorrow and the tension
There to face us when our family now was three,
And for now and ever after,
We'd no longer hear Grant's laughter,
Nor his insights into how the world should be.

After much deliberation
For Grant's one life celebration,
We decided then that somber wouldn't do.
So we focused on Grant's glories
And lighthearted childhood stories
And a roasted pig that he would sure love, too.

Though we're missing that one other,
We're still father, son, and mother.
It's the thing on which our happiness depends.
Though our year had major sorrow
We can still go on tomorrow
With the help of our dear family and our friends.

But our year was not all gloomy.
As I write, it's just come to me
There are happy things I really should include.
Some events that I've been filing
Were enough to get us smiling
So I'll throw them in to lighten up the mood.

Meemo's car was slowly fading
As its systems were degrading
To the point where its demise was in the fates.
So she set to dealer schmoozing,
Bought a model of her choosing,
And we even got her personal new plates.

We made quite a few excursions
Up to Warren's home for versions
Of the change of season's jobs that come about.
With the real reason being
Just to hug him and for seeing
That we have the closeness we can't live without.

This year's Starved Rock trip was very
Big for Carolee and Harry
And for most of us 'cause they’re why we're alive.
We were there in celebration
Of that wonderful occasion
At the end of June in 1945.

For a new job celebration
And a very short vacation
In November Lake Geneva was the place
Where our friends before and after
Met for dinner, drinks, and laughter,
And to find out how we all can age with grace.

Our Thanksgiving trip was driving
Down to Dayton and arriving
There to find the Braden clan and Klopfer's place
Overwhelmed with decorations
Due to Uncle Mike's creations
And Aunt Laurie's meal that fed us all for days.

Now for Christmas we’re together
In our great Wisconsin weather
With a chance to have our Warren here a while.
So take heart and please believe us,
When he goes home he will leave us
With a lot of reasons for us still to smile.

So appreciate and treasure
All your family beyond measure.
Take them in your arms and hold on to them fast.
Go about your life believing
Every time a loved one's leaving
That you never know which time might be the last.

© Larry Gardner 2015

The Gardners

Christmas 2015

Grant Braden Gardner
December 21, 1983 - February 10, 2015
» 11,374 days «

The Gardners Christmas 2015

The Gardner Christmas Chronicles
The Years In Review

This year's chronicle is dedicated to Grant, our first-born son.

Larry, Marily, Warren and Libby

December 20, 2015
Delafield, Wisconsin

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Be sure to see the Bonus Pages for additional photos!

The Years in Review