Well, another Holiday season has come & gone, and I must admit, this has not been one of my better ones. The reason being is that I lost my mother in May, and so this was not only my first Holiday season without her, it was also my first birthday without her. My mother always tried her best to make the holidays, especially Christmas, fun & memorable. She would always make Christmas cut-out cookies, as well as spritz cookies. She would make them ahead of time, and then store them in the freezer, with strict instructions not to touch them. Well, between my father, my two brothers, and myself, when Mom would go to the freezer to get the cookies ready for decorating, there would be more than a few missing!!
My mother loved tinsel icicles on the tree, but you were not allowed to just throw it on. You had to hang each one individually. One year she, along with my brothers and I, hung somewhere between 2 and 3 thousand of those tinsel icicles on the tree, each one individually! That was one shiny tree!!
On Christmas morning we were not allowed to go downstairs to see our presents until our parents got up. The rule was your feet had to be on the top landing of the staircase, so we would go hands first down the stairs, with our toes touching the top landing, just so we could peak at the presents under the tree, which only heightened our anticipation. Mom & Dad would eventually open their bedroom door and we would make a mad dash down the stairs to see who got which presents.
I could go on & on with various holiday traditions, but I really don’t think mine are all that much different from so many others. We were fortunate enough to have both of our parents while growing up, and even when times were tough financially, Mom & Dad somehow managed to come thru with gifts on Christmas morning.
My father passed away right before Christmas in 2010, and as tough as that was, we still had my mother, who never seemed to lose her Christmas joy and awe. Now that my mother has passed I’m struggling to retain that joy and awe. I know that she would not want me to be sad during this time, but I can’t help but think of how much my mother tried to always make Christmas and the holidays special. I know that in time I will refocus my thoughts, time, and energy on the true meaning of Christmas once again, but until then this was a more somber and reflective holiday season of what was, and what will never be again.
My wife tried so hard to make it special, and she is truly to be commended for her efforts. For you see, my wife is the one other person in my daily life who knows and expresses the true joy and awe of the Holiday season. She knows and practices the true meaning of Christmas each & every day of the year, and her spirit is infectious, thank God!
So as I look forward to 2019, I pray that it will be better than 2018, and I am thankful that I have such a person as my wife to share 2019 with. I have no doubt that we will have our regular trials & tribulations, as everyone does, but together we will see them thru and be thankful that we have each other. For you see, not only did we lose my mother in 2018, but I was diagnosed with two different cancers last year, one minor, and one major. I have had surgery for both, and the initial prognosis for both is good, but I will save that discussion for another day, and another blog post. Love & missing you Mom!