First Christmas in Iran

What follows is a short story from Rosemary’s past. After talking with her, I have taken our discussion and turned it into a series of small stories highlighting the incredible life that she has led. Direct quotes from our discussion are highlighted in quotation marks. All else is a retelling written by yours truly.

“One morning there was a knock on my door, and it was a man standing there with about six turkeys, live turkeys. Each with a string around its neck.”

It was the final weeks leading up to Christmas, the first Christmas Rosemary had ever had away from England and her family. It was an important one, a memory that would always live in her mind. She needed to do it right.

So there she was, standing at the door looking at the turkeys. She knew which one she wanted and she knew how she wanted it but she didn’t speak the language. She thought for a moment. How do I do this? How can I get across what I want?

Picking the bird wasn’t difficult and the man nodded in understanding. Then Rosemary tried telling him that she wanted it plucked, and she wanted the head and feet removed. So she began plucking herself, plucking imaginary feathers, trying to explain her position. She mimed the removal of the feet and head.

It was a rather strange charade but they seemed to understand each other and he came back a few days later with the turkey. Whether it was the same turkey or not, Rosemary couldn’t tell. It was plucked. Great! But it still had its feet and head. Not so great.

Well that was alright. She had a knife so she could do that herself.

So Christmas Day rolled around and Rosemary got to work making as much of a Christmas meal as she could. She wanted it to be special. After all, it was their first Christmas away from England.

Unfortunately, Bill decided that Christmas was the best time to come down with bad tonsillitis. He developed a high fever and as such, spent most of Christmas Day in bed. He didn’t have much of an appetite for Christmas Dinner. And even if he did, he had tonsillitis so it was a challenge to eat anything. No, Bill was too sick to enjoy Christmas.

That left Rosemary and her two children. Unfortunately, of her two children, one son was nine months old and could only really eat mashed food, and her other son – it turns out – didn’t care much for turkey or vegetables.

Right then.

“I think I ate the whole turkey. It was very miserable. I was homesick. I felt lonely. Just all those negative things. Not Christmassy at all.”

“So it was not a nice time and it wasn’t a very nice time for anybody because I’m sure I was not very good company.”

Mind you, neither was anybody else. Let’s just say it wasn’t the merriest Christmas ever.

Stay tuned for more stories from the life of Rosemary. Please note: these stories will not necessarily hold any chronological grounding. They are designed as snippets of understanding into the life of Rosemary and while some will hold chronology, others may not.