While I think Susan Boyle has a wonderful voice, and I am touched by her rendering of my favorite Christmas song, I only wish that I had a video recording of my mother singing "O Holy Night" for a Christmas Eve service at the church in Colorado Springs where she had married my father, and where we attended services faithfully every Sunday. My mother's rendering of this hymn back in 1958 remains my favorite Christmas memory.
Though this event occurred over 52 years ago, the memory of it is still crisp, clear, and much treasured. My mother's solo opened the service. I still see her dressed in a 50's style dress made of green raw silk. She'd made the dress herself. At her ears crystal earrings sparkled against her wavy black hair. Her beautiful, clear soprano voice sweetly filled the church. It was evident that the song came from her heart. It was not just a performance.
From afar, dressed as an angel, I watched her as I stood at the back of the church waiting to make my entrance with a host of other pre-teen angels to light the candles that were placed throughout the church. I was nearly overcome with pride and love as I watched her with amazement and listened to her sing. I thought I had never seen a more beautiful woman with a more beautiful voice.
She is now 94 years old. Whenever I get the chance to stand next to her in church and listen to her sing, I am still amazed at her beauty and at the beauty of her voice. I find myself trying to make a mental recording of her voice. I never want to forget how beautiful it is.
Merry Christmas, Mother. I love you. Thank you for all the Christmas memories that you made for us, for all of the beautiful clothes that you made us to wear, and, most of all, for teaching us the true meaning of Christmas.