illustration of two red kites hanging upon a Christmas tree

A Christmas Memory

by Truman Capote

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What does Buddy's friend discover after flying her kite on their last Christmas together?

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After they fly kites together on Christmas day, Buddy's friend has a revelation about the Lord in Truman Capote’s story “A Christmas Memory.” 

Buddy and his friend open presents with the rest of the family before escaping the disappointment and stuffiness of their home by going to the pasture to fly kites. The kites were the handmade gifts they shared earlier that day.  It is a beautiful afternoon with perfect blue skies and amazing kite flying winds. The two unwind in the deep grass with the afternoon sun shining upon them while simply enjoying each other’s company.

As they relax in the sun, Buddy’s friend realizes her belief that one would have to be near death to see the face of God may be flawed. She finds herself so taken with the idyllic afternoon that she decides the Lord shows himself in such perfection. He does not wait until the end of life, but he is present in life’s common, but precious moments. She explains her revelation to Buddy so he will understand how God presents himself in nature, and in the seemingly mundane, but wonderful moments of everyday life.

That things as they are"—her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone—"just what they've always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes."

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What does Buddy's friend discover after flying her kite on their last Christmas together?

In the Novella, "A Christmas Memory," by Truman Capote, Buddy and his friend have shared a Christmas morning with their distant family members.  They have eaten breakfast and Buddy's friend looks at him and says, "Buddy, the wind is blowing."  Buddy and his friend immediately grab their kites.  They have each given one another kites for Christmas as gifts.  Buddy, his friend, and Queenie head out to their pasture located below the house and begin to fly their kites.  While Queenie buries her bone, the friend and Buddy enjoy the tug of the kites on their strings.  It is here that Buddy's friend realizes that she

"...will wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself.  That things as they are just what they've always seen, was seeing Him.  As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes."

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In "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote, what does buddy's friend discover after flying her kite on their last Christmas Day together?

Truman Capote's memoir of a his childhood Christmases with his colorful, if not quixotic, older relative, whom he calls his "friend," flood the reader with curious, but loving episodes as she and Buddy (she calls Capote this in memory of her best friend) begin their annual custom of making fruitcakes.

As trek through a grove of pecan trees, they fill a baby carriage with the sweet nuts and count their money and clandestinely procure whiskey, a friendship is forged between the two social outcasts who are chided by relatives for their supposed shenanigans. Later, Buddy confides,

...we are champion kite-fliers who study the wind like sailors; my friend, more accomplished than I, can get a kite aloft when there isn't enough breeze to carry clouds.

On their last Christmas Day together after kite-flying, Buddy's old friend speaks to him as they sprawl on the grass, sun-warmed and content. Suddenly more alert in such comfort than should be expected, she tells Buddy of her epiphany:

"I've always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when He came it would be like looking at the Baptist window: pretty as colored glass with the sun pouring through....

However, she adds, that is not so. Such a vision probably does not occur, as at the end of one's life, she explains in her realization that the "Lord has already shown Himself." In this subtle, metaphoric manner, Buddy's friend has quietly told Buddy that she is dying. For, in the next paragraph Capote writes simply, "That was our last Christmas together."

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