Christmas 2020

Christmas 2020 was in many ways lousy because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was Code Red, which meant you could not gather in groups, not even for family celebrations.

Emily, my grandson Justin’s wife, was pregnant in 2020. Her due date was early January 2021.

Now it was two days before Christmas.

Christmasses past had always been special, particularly so since the death of my late wife Diane in 2004. One year we went to Puerta Vallarta, one year to Uganda, one year to San Jose, CA, another to Vancouver, BC, and sometimes we gathered in Winnipeg.

This year was different. We would be in our respective homes in Winnipeg and Vancouver. The only thing we would do together was talk via Zoom.

Two more days.

I was browsing on my cell phone when all of a sudden a message flashed on Family Chat.


It was my grandson announcing the birth of his and Emily’s daughter. She had come almost two weeks early. The Family Chat room went wild as the baby’s aunts and uncles and cousins once removed uttered exclamations of joy.

Her name is Chloe Rose. She weighed 6 lbs. 7 ozs and was 19 inches long, a baby slightly smaller than usual, my first great grandchild. Everyone was healthy.

I was elated! What fun it would be Christmas Day for my family to welcome the newest member into the world and into our family.

Christmas Eve and the Zoom call came quickly. We had decided at the last minute to have the call a day earlier.

One by one the images from the households of my three daughters flashed onto the screen of my big Apple computer, and one by one we turned on the audio and grinning from ear to ear wished each other Merry Christmas. Justin and Emily were last to come onto the screen, now there they were, all three of them, Justin holding my first great granddaughter, and Emily smiling, looking fine. Justin told us the story from the time Emily’s water broke at home until discharge from the hospital. We listened, fascinated, without interruption until the end.

“So that’s what we have to share this Christmas,” Justin said. Then all of us opened some presents on camera..

I shared our miniature on-screen window with Anne-Shirley, my partner for five years, who has become a loved member of the family. She was as excited as me this Christmas Eve.

So to make up for not being able to be together, we have a new little one in our family. She’s the cutest baby you ever saw.

Irvin James Kroeker

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