Two Christmases stand out for me as my very favorite ones. The first began on the morning of December 23rd, 1983 . . . On Christmas Eve, my in-laws were supposed to arrive from Elkhart to join Becky and me for Christmas. When I came out of the library after working on my studies all day at 4:30 pm, darkness was just falling over West Lafayette, but it was still light enough to see that there was a blizzard going on and that the temperature had dropped to near zero degrees. Sure enough this blizzard shut the major north south interstate from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky. Becky’s parents would not be coming, and I had Becky to myself for Christmas for the first time ever! I felt as if time stood still as Becky and I got to luxuriate in each others company. I was surrounded by love and fun the entire Christmas weekend.
I have many memories of Christmas with Susan. The Christmas we drove to my parents in Philadelphia and told them Susan was pregnant with Thomas; the Christmas seasons we hosted the neighborhood holiday party (10 years in a row), the times we stayed up late getting the presents ready for Thomas and Sophie. And the last Christmas in which we had such a great day, but at the end of the day when Susan went to bed, I knew she would never have the same energy again.
The Christmas I remember as my favorite was the first Christmas Susan and I spent together — in 1997. First, it was a wonderful surprise that Susan was around for Christmas since I had thought she was heading to her parents’ home in Spokane, Washington. Susan decided to stay in Michigan and spend the long Christmas weekend with me in her apartment. We took long runs in the morning, read, watched movies and had romantic dinners and evenings. Susan and I would duplicate this type of long weekend many times; always happiest when we had uninterrupted time together.