"For Mom, Uncle John, and Our Families"
The holidays are a cacophony of sounds, smells, and images connected to memories of family: mom baking lemon drop cookies; children bustling in and around the kitchen; and quiet moments when we remember glimpses of loved ones who can only join us in memories.
The Hackett family lost our matriarch two years ago. At eighty-five, she had fought a life-long battle against the scourge of rheumatoid arthritis. She was our hero, our mentor, our confessor. The banker, who balanced to the penny; the Great-Grandma who just missed the birth of her tenth great-grandchild: Melanie Hazel Hackett.
Now with family spilt by distance and indifference, we search for meaning and try to find answers to our “why?” Symbols help connect the generations and provide us with opportunities to reflect.
The following is an adaptation of Clement Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by my older brother, John Hackett, who found comfort in the beauty of a yellow iris. A yellow iris that he transplanted from his mother’s garden; an iris that bloomed on Christmas day to let him know that “Mom” was still alive in his heart, a symbol of both continuity and of love,
“Mom's Christmas Iris”
'Twas the night before Christmas, Not a single Iris was in bloom
The plants were all snug in their beds,
While visions of spring blossoms danced in their heads.
When, in a forgotten section of garden,
I sprang from the ground,
When what to my eyes should appear,
But a single Iris in bloom, where none should be.
I knew in a moment, since this plant was Mom's
That she was here to say, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all have a great day.”
John Robert Hackett
The Torrance Hacketts
"I believe it was a sign from Mom."