It was driven home dramatically this morning, that THIS Christmas my life has been reconfigured.
Last year was the first year we organised Kris Kringle for adults. This way a limit was set that would not overload or drive anyone into debt. Names were picked out of a hat and we had one substantial present to buy instead of what seems like millions ( ahhh the joys of a large family!!)
This year we are an odd number. Tony’s name is not in the hat. He will not be there. Briefly I choked up. Then a took a big deep breath and reminded myself how unhappy we both were, steeled myself and focused on all I do have instead of the one thing missing.
I wished him peace, joy and love and reminded myself to breathe, and worked steadily with Tess to unwrap all ornaments and help weave Christmas lights around branches and shared hugs with my children and grandchildren. My life is not empty. Love is all around me. I am not unloved; in fact the opposite is true. I am deeply loved.
There will be these reminders that jump up and get in my face emotionally. They lie in wait like potholes and just when I believe I am doing okay, something like this clutches at my heart and twists my belly, again. Like losing half a shoe into a pothole and twisting an ankle when you are wearing heels.
This Christmas is Uncle Kevin’s first without Aunty Marjorie after a lifetime. His pain is fresher and a deep well. My cousin faces death sometime in the first half of next year. It helps keep my small ache in perspective.
What do I have in my hand, and in my walk through life? A mother who loves me and whom I am priveleged to still have. I am convinced that despite all her issues she will outlive us all. I have children who love me and who enjoy my company – and I theirs. I have grandchildren who love time with me.