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.
When her cancer returned this time, I offered to decorate her house
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.
The following year the stockings don’t even make it to the mantle.
I skip my ski trip to stay with her.
The next year Dad and I do it all alone.
And now I hang both their stockings on my mantle.