Friday, December 23, 2011


Click here to See "Carol of the Bells" with lyrics

My niece, Selena is my sister Colleen’s second daughter. She almost floats, she is so positive, always looking forward to the next thing…always thinking that anything can be done.

One of the things she thinks can be done this year is that our Ryan Christmas Carol time (done shortly after dinner and right before gift opening) can include “Carol of the Bells”. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is piece done by a full symphony with a bell choir and children singing parts, in rounds. It is faithfully performed for her majesty, the Queen of England, and the Danish royal family to begin their Christmas.

I have a guitar I haven’t played since last Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, the Ryan’s are musical, my parents voices have both been singled out by the choir directors they have known, and I am a great amateur player of several instruments. The Carol of the Bells isn’t exactly Silent Night or Hark the Herald Angels sing.

It is Selena who I can’t say no to. Don’t we need the Selena’s in our life?? The ones who believe nothing is impossible?? Someone who gives us something to look forward to in times of awkwardness and tragedy?

In each overstated sound of the bells, I can see snapshots of the past year: Vince, Alicia, David, Joe, Harmony smiling, Alannah’s birth, my daughter’s sadness, my son’s dilemma, my nephew lonely, Shane turning 18, Anthony’s sickness, barefoot children in the township, losing friendships, Mario holding his head in sadness, Mario laughing. Tears, wanderings, theft, attacks, weddings, funerals….bing, bong….merry, merry merry, merry Christmas! Merry, merry, merry. Merry Christmas.

With my brother in law gone, my family disjointed, money problems, physical hardships….there is a joy in me that resembles hope and moving on, all done in the time of family Christmas.

After all, Selena reminds me of myself.

Merry Christmas

I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
Anne Frank