The holidays can be not so great when you've lost someone you loved
I guess you can say that I got lost. For those of you who follow my blog I apologize for not writing sooner. Between work, kid responsibilities, sick kids, trying to prepare for the holidays emotionally, mentally, and physically, and dealing with going through another holiday season without my mom, I lost myself.
What needed to get done got done. I performed my duties as a medical writer and mother. We put up the tree and decorated. I shopped. I wrapped. I cooked and baked. And I attended the candlelight Christmas Eve service at my church. But to tell you the truth I haven't felt the true spirit of Christmas in my heart since my mom died.
Six years ago, our tiny family "celebrated" our first Thanksgiving a week after we buried my mom. We were all in shock but somehow we made it through the day. My mom's death smacked me in the face the first Christmas we celebrated without her. Christmas was my mom's favorite holiday. Everything was laced with her love. Things were so different without my mom, and over the years I realized that nothing will ever be the same again. For me, my mom made Christmas special.
I honor my mom during the holidays by carrying on the some of the same traditions she did. Each year I buy my kids an ornament. On our tree are all the ornaments my mom got for me over the years. There are also some special ornaments in memory of my mom. I also make some of the same things my mom did for Christmas dinner, following recipes written down by my mom. Carrot soup, pumpkin bread, and chocolate chip cake are a must for our family celebration.
As my mom did for me, I try to make the holiday season a special time for my family. Just because I lost the Christmas spirit doesn't mean they should too. Seeing them happy makes me happy.
This year we did something different and spent Christmas Day with my husband's family. We had a really nice time and I felt at peace. Tomorrow we will celebrate Christmas with my dad and his wife's family. It will be the seventh Christmas without my mom. Everything is just so different now. Instead of family togetherness and love I feel like the day is complete chaos. Although I am in the same house where I celebrated Christmas as a child, it all feels so different.
Each year is different and I try to adjust, to accept, to celebrate, and to find something meaningful. Most importantly, I make sure some part of Christmas is special for my kids.
I wish I could turn back time and celebrate Christmas with my mom again. Even more so, I wish my mom could celebrate Christmas with us tomorrow and that she had been part of the past six Christmases. Gone from my everyday life, but not from my heart. I will pass on our family traditions, the ones I learned from my mom, to my kids, and in doing so keep my mom's memory alive. We will always remember the love she had for her family.
I wish everyone a holiday season filled with peace and love.