The Snow Globe
By Lea Sheryn
Ding Dong, Ding Dong rang out the front doorbell. Its sound resonated throughout the small condo. Startled, the lone woman awoke from her rocking chair nap.
“Amazon!” a cheerful male voice called out.
Eloise Parker slowly rose from her comfortable seat. Her measured steps led her to the door. ‘Whatever is it?’ she wondered to herself.
Although Christmas was right around the corner, she did not expect a gift. The widow lived alone in the senior community condo. Fifteen years previously, she and her late husband retired to Venice, Florida. Since Elmer passed away, the holidays slipped away without much cheer. In her heart, she held a quiet celebration. However, it was never the same without her life’s companion.
“I don’t want anything for Christmas,” Eloise told her grown children.
She was happy to Skype with her family. Seeing her grandchildren’s happily glowing faces pleased her. Otherwise, Eloise spent Christmas silently reflecting upon past holidays. She thought fondly of Elmer. In her mind’s eye, she pictured the bakery they opened during their marriage’s early years. The warm ovens kept their upstairs apartment cozy throughout the winter. Their three children brought them great joy. However, time moved on. Their offspring attended universities far from home, and retirement beckoned the adults. The Parkers sold their thriving business and retired to the sunshine state.
The first Christmas following Elmer’s fatal heart attack brought sadness to Eloise’s heart. Her eldest daughter, Helen, insisted she celebrate with the family in Cape May, New Jersey. Secretly, she planned to surprise her mother with the appearance of her siblings, Lawrence and Mariam. However, when she offered the round-trip plane ticket, Eloise refused to accept it. Her closest companion’s absence would dampen the festivities. Heartbreak would overshadow the joyous occasion. Three years passed, and, still, she could not face a family holiday without Elmer.
“Helen,” Eloise concluded, shaking her head. Slowly, she trudged toward the door. If it pleased her daughter, the elderly lady thought, she would accept the gift. Opening the door, she reached for the large smiling box.
“Perhaps it’s time to stop dwelling on the ghost of Christmas past,” she mused, smiling slightly. “I could use a little cheering up.”
Eloise carried the hefty box to her rocker and sat down. Curiously, she examined it before reaching for her scissors and opening the top flaps. She extracted a Styrofoam form and slit it open also.
Gasping in surprise, Eloise gazed upon a beautiful snow globe. Inside the snowy bubble, a Victorian couple rode in a magnificent sleigh. A gingerbread trimmed house resided in the background.
The elderly lady considered the gift thoughtfully. Then, she searched the box for a greeting card. Frowning, she regarded it as odd her daughter had not enclosed one. Eloise looked about the floor, thinking it had dropped out. Nothing appeared.
Upending the music box, Eloise twisted the silver key. As the tune tinkled out, a tear appeared in the corner of her eye. A long-hidden memory tugged at her heart.
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on our troubles will be miles away”
“Seth,” Eloise’s lips slowly formed the forgotten name.
Leaning back in her rocker, Eloise closed her eyes. Tears leaked from her blue eyes. Seth Durham, she mused, rocking the chair.
Long before she married Elmer Parker, she loved Seth Durham. Their magical acquaintance lasted only a short time. They planned to marry; however, time and distance drove them apart. When they drifted away from each other, she turned toward her workmate for solace. Putting her feelings for Seth behind her, Eloise Withers became Mrs. Elmer Parker.
Throughout the years, she made the best of her marriage. Eloise loved Elmer and their three children. Nevertheless, her delightful memories of Seth lingered in the back of her mind.