Today is Fiona’s birthday, and she would’ve been twenty-one.
Earlier this month, I attended the meeting of Bereaved Parents, a support group for those who have lost a child. We were asked to share a special Christmas memory concerning our departed offspring. What sprang instantly to my mind was not any particular Christmas holiday out of the ten we had with Fiona, but of the Christmas list she made up shortly before she passed away a decade ago.
I still have that handwritten list, carefully preserved. What’s unique about it is that she didn’t just list stuff for herself—she decided what everyone in the family would want that Christmas. Still, she claimed the lion’s share of wishes.
What Fiona wanted:
Sailor Moon “S” The Movie
Pokemon the Movie 2000
The Simpsons’ Wrestling (Playstation game)
Mr. Driller (also a Playstation game)
Putt-Putt Enters the Race (computer game)
PaRappa the Rapper (Playstation game to replace the one that was too scratched up to work anymore)
Lammy Tee (Lammy was a friend of PaRapper and she had a T-shirt)
PaRappa Ski Cap (He always wore a ski cap. Now you could, too!)
She wrote “Rugrats” but crossed it out. Not on the list but also requested was a video game called Threads of Fate (she’d been playing the promotional demo and wrote the game’s name on the calendar in the kitchen), and a complete set of Sailor Moon Dolls. She saw those advertised on a TV commercial and called me to come and see. “Mom! Mom! Look!” she said.
I came, I saw, I noted. Her father bought the complete set on October 14th of that year, and we put them in our closet to wait until Christmas, but alas—she passed away the next day, October 15th. All of the Sailor Moon dolls are with her now. Mr. Lucky said, “They’ll be our final gift to her.”
That was what Fiona wanted for that Christmas. Somehow she managed to find room on that single sheet of paper for the rest of us.
For her older brother, she wanted him to have a “Crash Bandicoot Color Block Long Sleeve Crew.” Obviously she copied the words out of a catalog. I think it was supposed to be a sweatshirt.
For her dad, she wanted him to have a Playstation game called Duke Nukem: Planet of the Babes. (I don’t think so, Bunny Buttons.)
She wasn’t as specific about what I should get for Christmas, or maybe she was starting to run out of space, but she knew Santa Claus could never go wrong with “Book’s” (sic) for Mom.
When she showed me the list, I told her that she forgot her baby brother. Even if he was her archnemesis, wouldn’t she like to put something down for him?
Fiona promptly amended her list. She wrote down the name of her younger brother, and next to it added the word, “Bear”.
He got a stuffed Teddy Bear that Christmas.
That’s how the Baby of the family came to be known as our Bear . . . by the final Christmas wish of our Bunny.