Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #400

Momma: “Lucille, get away from the fireplace. We live in the projects, you don’t know what might fall out of there.”

Lucille: “But Momma, it’s Christmas Eve. Santa is coming!”

Momma: “Santa? Baby Girl, Santa doesn’t know where we live. We’re on welfare.”

Lucille: “That’s not true. If you are good and kind and don’t kill anybody, Santa will bring you a present for Christmas.”

Momma: “Well, Santa is very busy. Sometimes he can’t get to all the houses.”

Lucille: “But I want to know what he thought about me, if I was good or bad.”

Momma, pausing in her scrubbing of the sink that always looked dingy: “Oh. Well, honey, I’m sure he thinks you’re a wonderful little girl, just like I do. But maybe he won’t be able to tell you that just right now.”

Lucille: “Oh, I know he’ll tell me. Come sit with me, Momma. Let’s wait together.”

Momma, setting the sponge aside and rinsing her hands: “We do have a few cookies in the jar. I suppose I could put them on a plate.”

Lucille: “And milk! He needs a glass of milk. I didn’t have any for dinner just in case.”

Momma: “Yes, we do have extra milk and… well, let me get this all ready.” Momma tinkered a bit and then sat down beside Lucille with a few modest treasures. “I think this should do.”

Lucille: “It’s perfect! I know he’ll like it.”

Momma, hesitant: “But, Baby Girl, sometimes what you hope for is not what you get.”

Lucille smiled: “I just got it.”


Originally published in “Crusty Pie” on 08/25/16 and “Bonnywood Manor” on 12/01/16. Some folks have commented on the previous posts that this is a sad story, and I can see how it would be taken that way, but the twist of the final line is a reminder that the most important gift you can give someone is love. Perhaps that sounds sappy, but if it is, I’m happy to be a tree…


29 replies »

  1. Poignant is not the same as sad and this is a poignant tale not a sad one. The exquisitely touching story comes out of the ‘Little Match Girl’ mold – Hans Christian Anderson wrote that masterpiece as a reminder to his well-heeled, well-oiled, well-found friends that all is not so simple and superficial in the world. Love will always be the most important gift we have and it is not at all sappy to remind us of that fact. At Christmas and every day, but Christmas gives an extra layer of potential to reach hearts and you, my certainly-not-sappy maestro have sent your arrow straight and true to the heart. 💕

    Liked by 4 people

    • Once again, I fumble toward my go-to response for the 472nd time: You always know the right things to say. You tickle my heart and, in the midst of the fluttering, I have difficulty concocting just the right response, so I will go the simple route: Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. She wants to be careful kneeling there. There’s every possibility that a huge cloud of soot will fall down the chimney and land all over her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think this is a sad story at all. In fact, I see it as a story of hope. Hope that Mama would cooperate. Hope that Mama wouldn’t laugh and call the little girl’s wishes “foolishness”. It’s a beautiful vignette.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.