Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 22, 2011
The Puzzling Christmas

by Jorjee Gowans


Every Christmas has its own special moments. You could choose your favorite every year and then change it again and again. I have a favorite that I will always keep dear to my heart. A year and a half ago my grandma found out that she had colon cancer. She went into surgery and they were able to take out all the cancerous polyps. Sadly, they had to put her on chemotherapy.

She was very weak and fatigue took over, making her constantly tired and ill. Even when it was scorching hot outside, to her it was the North Pole inside. When we would go up for dinner, almost everything that was for dinner she couldn’t eat. Everything about her was changing and it made me sad to watch her turn into something so fragile.

I remember going downstairs and there was always a different puzzle out on a table almost every time I’d go down there. I knew my grandpa and her always worked on some, but I’d never seen them do so many. The puzzles varied, from a girl hanging out at a tree house or a motorcycle, to a little boy and a toy chest to wild horses. I watched them be put together from the beginning to the end, when they were Mod Podged together. I wondered what they were doing with all these puzzles. I’d never seen them put so many together in a year.

Christmas Eve came, the day when we hold our annual get together party with all our extended family. We had all settled down downstairs to open presents when a few of my aunts and uncles walked into one of the rooms downstairs and came walking back out with a handful of cardboard. I had no idea what it was, just cardboard. My grandma and grandpa sat side by side on a couch and my uncle called the first name, “Jorjee.” He pulled the first piece of cardboard off of his pile and glued to it was a puzzle of a little girl and puppies. I sat down next to my grandparents and gave each of them a big hug.

Every grandchild that went up was given a reason why they were getting a certain puzzle. My grandma told me that when I had gone to the D.I. with her to look at puzzles I had pointed out the puzzle I liked. She had gone back and bought that same puzzle and together my grandparents put it back together again.

This is the moment I hold dear to me around Christmas and I hope when you see a puzzle you will think of it as a portrait, not of something hard or difficult, but a memory of the creator. My grandma conquered cancer and she is now off of chemotherapy. I love her very much and I enjoy my time I have on earth with her and my grandpa. Hold your memories close to your heart and enjoy the time you have with the loved ones around you.

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