This year we will not have a Christmas tree or exchange gifts, but I do have a lot of ornaments I carry with me. I would like to share some of those ornaments with you now. There are many more, but here are the ones I want to share during this holiday season.
The first is a small one shaped like a rubber boot reminding me of my first boyfriend crush at age four. Lee also four, helped me slip on and off my rubber boots that fit over my shoes in kindergarten. My first ornament would be for Lee.
My second ornament would be shaped like a honors ribbon as I remember Ms. Hawthorne. She was my ninth grade AP teacher in high school. When no one else went above and beyond, she did. She took me all over the city on her own time, showcasing my intellect and academic achievement among the world of academia. She was the first to make me believe I could leave Utah far behind and go out into the world on my own.
The next ornament would be shaped like a door knob for Dinitri Dantley, wife of former NBA player for the Utah Jazz, Adrian Dantley. She was the first to introduce me to Howard University. She drove me to the front steps as a senior in High School and asked, "You really want this?" I responded, "Yes." She said, "Then get out, go get it." She opened the car door and nudged me out.
There are many more ornaments I will leave out along the way, no slight to their significance in my life. I remember them all fondly. I feel compelled to mention just a few more.
Next would be an ornament shaped as a plate, reminding me of my oldest brother John who died of cancer at age 45. My brother hated to waste food as poor as we were. Anytime we left food on our plate he would finish it just to see it not go to waste. He used to say to all of us, his siblings, "Only take what you can eat." His humble spirit has stuck with me always.
The next ornament would be in the shape of a ring symbolizing the bond I have with my husband of 24 years. I was a woman used to being left by men in her life. After one year dating he wrote a year ahead in my diary. He wrote, "On this day, La Detra and Bob recommit themselves to one another." He has shown me what commitment really means and I love him dearly.
The next ornaments would be joined together in the shape of eternity rings, symbolizing the bond I desire for my two children for one another. I have a constant prayer that they will become and remain friends for life.
I can't forget a special ornament for my friend Kimberly shaped like a diamond. Words can't express her definition of true lifetime friendship. I can't imagine not talking her into being my friend so many years ago. She finishes my sentences like nobody's business.
The last ornament would be a cracked ornament showing wear and tear. It would not be the prettiest one on the tree by far. From a distance the eyes may not even notice it. It may appear a bit unfinished or odd but there would be something about it that would draw others to it. Its true beauty would be behind and inside the ornament telling an authentic story of where it has been and how it got here.
That ornament would be of me.
I am curious. What ornaments would hang on your tree?