I was thirteen the first time I decorated
the house for Christmas. Mom had just
finished radiation for her second round of cancer.
She couldn’t get off the couch, so I did everything.
I offered to decorate her house when the cancer
returned again, but she did it all before I came.
The next Christmas, she only decorated the little tree,
the one that used to stand in my room.
This year, the stockings didn’t even make it to the mantle.
I skipped my ski trip and stayed home with her.
Next year, she’s sure she’ll feel like doing more.
And if not, I’ll do it up right for Dad.