I sit here Mothers Day just past and Memorial Day just ahead makes one think about a mother who has passed from this life and how she inspired the love of Christmas in me. I spent a quiet afternoon on Mother's day at the cemetery caring for the special place where she has rested these many years. Planting a few flowers and some quiet reflection checking the US flag there for Dad. Many memories follow one as they leave the resting place of loved ones, but soon it was off to visit my mothers older brother 96 years old now still living in the same house alone some 40 years. He always has some Christmas item he finds at yard sales for me,he too knows the Christmas spirit my mother left behind. Interesting that my mother was born on Christmas Day, perhaps that is why the connection was so strong and passed down to me. The last Christmas with mom was perhaps the hardest as she was very ill and in a nursing home. Christmas Eve 1996 after my home visits as Santa in full attire I quietly slipped into the nursing home. Way beyond visiting hours I was welcomed by the surprised nursing staff and ushered to her room. I put a stuffed animal into her hands and she light up a smile I will never forget. She loved to see me in the Santa attire,this would be the last Christmas for her. Ten days later on my Dads birthday she saw all of us one more time before slipping quietly away. I think of this now and can even stand to look at the picture taken that last Christmas eve, though my mother would never have wanted anyone to see her in that terrible state from the cancer weighing only 60 pounds. Never the less I still look at it as a special last happy moment with her.So as we get past mothers day and go to memorial day another visit to their resting place will be scheduled this time remembering not only mom but the Major (Dad) who rest there as well. Another one who loved Christmas and yes beside the army uniform donned the red suit of Santa in my youth.