Marks on the Heart

May 22, 2017

Crisp clean snow coats the ground and twinkles as Christmas lights shine on it. A warm glow comes from the windows of Grandma and Grandpa’s. Laughter bubbles out of the door and voices spill out the window. Christmas of 2014, here I come!

The door swings open, and Isaiah steps out. “Kim!” he shouts and gives me a big hug, “Come on.” I couldn’t help but think of the present I got him: the nerf dart gun.

 We walk inside, and I say hello to all of my family. Everybody is spread out and listening to Grandpa, who is telling stories about Otto and the blue goose and cracking jokes.

“Look at the Christmas tree,” Isaiah says.
“Holy smokes!” I say, “Look at all the presents!”
“I know, right?” he says. Our next stop was the kitchen; Grandma was bustling around the kitchen doing last minute touch-ups to the feast waiting for us.
Isaiah asked, “Do you want to go outside?”

“Yeah! We can have a snowball fight,” I say.  Isaiah is the only one who plays with me anymore.
“Let’s do it,” he said. We ran outside and played in the snow building forts. Snow was falling and snowballs were flying.

Somewhere, out of the glistening white world, Cindy says, “Guys, Its time to eat.” We ran inside and stood beside the table.

After prayers we always say what we are thankful for. When it was Isaiah’s turn, I started thinking, should I say my usual “Ditto,” or say something meaningful. My turn. 
“Well, ditto,” I say.
Grandma glances over and playfully slaps me on my arm and says, “Stupid kids.”
Prayers ended with grandpa saying, “Amen. Now let’s eat!”
Whoah, look at all the food; it’s like a second thanksgiving. Chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, vegetables, fruit, and clam chowder, just to name a few.
“Okay Grandpa, time to pass out the presents,” Grandma says.
In sync, everybody says “Wahoo!”, and I can tell Isaiah is bursting with excitement like me. Present after present is piled in front of me.

By the time I was finished unwrapping them, I knew I had a loving family who cares about me. Now I have a new robe and a bunch of new toys. Isaiah and I both grabbed something from our piles and bounced into the guest room. I was so excited, an automatic nerf gun, blue and orange, my favorite colors. Finally, someone realizes that an eleven-year-old can have a fake gun.

Perfect, Isaiah grabbed the present I got him, still wrapped. A nerf dart gun. He shreds it open, “Cool,” he said, “Now we can have a war.”
Laughing and overjoyed, we pelt each other, or most of the time the walls, with foam bullets. Since it’s not really a war, there is no winner.

Next, target practice. People lounging in the next room, prepare yourselves for an awakening. About ten different angry shouts later, we move on to something new. Man, that was fun.

We sneak through our grandparent’s bedroom into the kitchen. Four different desserts are sitting on the counter. Pecan Pie, key lime pie, pumpkin pie, and angel food cake.  We start with key lime pie, and when we’ve finished, we have both had a piece of each. I was stuffed, but the sweet smells still lingered in my nose.

I lay on the living room floor, looking at the Christmas tree. It’s big and bushy with tinsel and lights strung on every centimeter of it. Ornaments hang on every branch. Whew that’s purdy, Grandma did a good job decorating it.

Outside the manger scene has been lit. Mary and Joseph sit beside Jesus. One happy family. I look around. Grandpa and Grandma, the Blands, and my family, all sitting together in the living room. One happy family. Now, as I sit here thinking as a thirteen-year-old, I realize something. My family leaves marks on me. Marks of love, like how I love to listen to the STL. Cardinals on the radio, hunting with Dad, and fishing with Grandpa. They gave me faith in God, and faith in myself.

I know that in the future, they will leave new intricate marks on me, but what will they be? I can’t wait to find out.

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