Only if I had known that my Santa will be gone once I grow up. I would have frozen time. Sealed the hands of the clock and never made it race to that one day when he finally took the carriage. Not promising me to return with gifts. Not leaving a note about the place he is heading to.
I buried my questions when I looked into my mother’s silent eyes and made myself believe that he was too much in a hurry to dress up and leave. But after that day, every moment when I see his smile stuck against time in photo frames and dust laden glasses I wish winters never come when I again have to adorn fake smiles and look at empty corridors waiting for my Santa to arrive and the bells to ring again through the darkness.
He did not have Red robes, white misty beard or a sleigh. But in my small world where still the fragrance of his clothes have not yet been absorbed by the smell of those white funeral roses. In that world, he was my Santa. He did not need seasons to come . Nor ways to gift me. Neither songs to lure me.
A hold of his fingers to guide me when I was four. A warm hug when I failed at life. A compassionate pat on the shoulder when the world stood as my stage. In all those enwrapped moments of eighteen years he gifted me every second nourished dearly in care, filled in that treasure box of memories. He weaved magical reflections of himself into my mirror …
And when I look back , only the fire consuming the body, the petals falling off and the cries all going numb beside me, that is what stagnates my mind. All the other paradoxical sweetness of transience seem to fade away like the watercolor paints against the end of a story I do not want to spell. My Santa was too real to be beautiful then.
Christmas lights. Shinning Stars. The cold zephyr of December is passing by with the Summer to come again only when I have to realize for another time that my Grandpa is gone. Without a Goodbye. Without a note . Into an existence where I want to travel to him as a Santa and bring the indefinite back but I can’t. I just can’t.
Years will go by and what I will be left with is only one question, “ Wasn’t it too early for Santa to go?”
Santas always don’t come in Red Robes, but sometimes leave ensheathed in White.
( Dedicated to my Grand Father.)