The holidays are quickly approaching and it’s just another reminder that something is missing.
Mom loved the holidays. Actually, she loved anything that gave her an excuse to decorate. The holidays were just a huge extravaganza of decorations, baking, gift shopping, and family traditions.
I’ll be the first to admit I have no talent in the decorating department. I used to joke with her that I was her muscle and Samuel, my younger brother, was her co-decorator (you’d think it’d be switched). He inherited her artistic eye and talent for decorating.
As I think about the upcoming holidays, I can’t help but feel this year will be different than last year. I don’t mean different easier but I also don’t be different harder. There’s no doubt, I think the first Christmas without mom will always be the hardest holiday. I just mean that so many things have changed this year that everything feels, for lack of a better word, different. My brothers and I are going on a trip over Thanksgiving so we won’t be home and then my dad, Samuel, and I are going back to New Mexico for Christmas. So we won’t be home for the last two major holidays in 2016.
I know this Christmas will be different because my dad invited his girlfriend to come with us to New Mexico. And even though I really like her and at the moment I am fine with her coming, I’m not sure how I will feel when that time comes. Mom’s favorite holiday was Christmas and she and I had a couple of traditions that just she and I would do. We’d pull out her fine china, set the table and start the preparations for Christmas morning breakfast. I didn’t get to do that last year so for me, after everyone had gone to sleep, I cried by myself for hours on Christmas Eve because I missed her so much.
So when my dad asked me if I would mind if his girlfriend came, I told him that I didn’t have a problem with it at the moment, but I was also unsure how I’d feel come Christmas time. He was ok with me being unsure. But I don’t know if I’m ok with me being unsure…
I wonder how it will be for me that week we are gone. It will give me a look at what the future could potentially be like if she and my Dad got married. It would be a glimpse of all future holidays. It’s almost like this unique opportunity to preview what the future could hold and I’m nervious to see how I will react. Am I ready for another woman to step into the place my mom always occupied? No, probably not. But that doesn’t mean it won’t turn out to be a good thing.
Yesterday marked 1.5 years since she passed away but I can still vividly remember the last day she was with us and the weeks that followed. It’s hard for me to reconcile sometimes that life moves on even when your world comes crashing down. And while I know that change is good sometimes, it still makes things like holidays hard.
If you’re going through a loss and are dreading the upcoming holidays, I’ve been where you are and I know what you’re going through. It’s not fun nor easy and I don’t really have any great words of wisdom; all I have to offer is that even after a year and a half, I still cry myself to sleep sometimes and there are days or events where I wish I could turn around and my Mom would still be standing there. But I think it will get easier. Some of us more on more quickly than others and that’s ok.
I’ll be praying for you, friend, and that as we move into full on holiday season that you’ll be reminded of all the good memories and laughter you shared with your loved one(s).
That’s all my thoughts for today…blessings friends!