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Columnist Bob Bridge


“I’ll be home for Christmas … “

Actually, I will not visit my cherished childhood home.

Not since 2004 have I failed to arrive in Evansville and gather with my family to celebrate Christmas.

Some of you probably remember 2004. I spent most of that year at Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis after a nefarious and mysterious germ penetrated my spine.

When I returned to Bedford near the end of the summer, I purchased a home in Edgewood Addition. As Christmas approached, Ralph Waldo Emerson and I prepared for our journey to Evansville for a peaceful and glorious few days with my mother, sister and her growing young family.

However, the weather man had other ideas. Snow began to fall and it would not stop. When it finally did, Lawrence County roadways were covered and declared impassable.

I spent Christmas Eve ringing bells for the Salvation Army in front of the old K-Mart store. Emerson and I cuddled on the sofa Christmas Day, listening to carols played on my stereo.

It wasn’t exactly ideal, but Emerson was a world-class cuddler. Admittedly, I did miss my mom and sister and the fabulous feast they prepared each year.

This upcoming Christmas is … different.

Our clan will not be uniting in Evansville for Christmas this year. What’s left of our family is disjointed, untidy and somewhat in a state of sorrowful disarray.

No pity necessary. It’s a changing, challenging world we reside in and I acutely comprehend how quickly relationships, priorities and presumed loyalties can vanish when you lose the uniting power of a mother, father, or, in our particular case, a charismatic grandmother.

She died in 1990 and though I have enjoyed family celebrations since, none have radiated as gloriously as those blessed with her mere presence.

So how will Mr. Bob, the proverbial solitary man, spend Dec. 25?

In peace and gratitude. I can still see that eternal light and my soulful spirit continues to sustain me.

After all, there is a “reason for the season,” and I continue to embrace this concept without succumbing to the distracting commercial circus parading around me.

In a sense, I will be “home for Christmas.”

Home is where your heart is and mine is quite comfortable and content pulsating wherever God chooses me to be.

Bless you all.

Bob Bridge welcomes comments at 812-276-9646 or at

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