Every year I find a prominent spot on the Christmas tree for one special ornament. It's laden with heavy memories from a difficult time, but for me the ornament now symbolizes strength, forgiveness and growth. It's no longer hidden away on an inside branch.
Here is an excerpt from Chapter Two, when my mother first gives me the ornament:
“You don’t deserve this, but here’s one for you,” Ava said and handed a box to Scott.
He took the present and sat on a corner of the sofa. He was afraid to open it. He watched as Pamela unwrapped and opened her box, revealing a gold-plated star ornament with her name engraved on it.
Scott picked at the paper on the corner of his box. Ava would not have given it to him if he couldn’t have it, he decided, so he unwrapped the paper. Inside was a gold-plated ornament in the shape of a Christmas tree with his name engraved on the front.
He stared at it and listened as Pamela thanked Ava and Robert and walked to the tree to find a perfect spot for her star. He felt undeserving of the present and guilty about being in trouble and shame for missing the first half of the tree decorating.
What remained was joyless. He meekly thanked Ava and Robert, walked to the tree, and searched out a spot on an inside branch where no one would see his ornament.