It’s really hard to not be reflective this time of year.
Tomorrow is Christmas Day, a time when we should be surrounded by ALL those we love. We should be laughing and enjoying gift giving……and too much champagne! We should be hoovering down too much rich cheese and crackers and turkey and sweet stuff. Should be talking too much and answering the phone with a “Ho Ho Ho!”
But some of us have a different Christmas to other families, one where some chairs at the dining table will be empty. And there’s absolutely nothing I can do about that for our little family….I can accept that now…….
Christmas for some of us can make us feel out of tune with the rest of the people we know..........if you’ve lost someone special in your life.
As each year passes, I never know what the day will bring and that’s scary sometimes…………already I’ve been up and down with different moments of longing for Savannah, wondering what we’d be putting under the Christmas tree tonight for her….I wonder what my Mum would be telling me not to buy for her, and how she’d ask what pretty outfit I had picked out for tomorrow.
My sister Tarnia would’ve already baked her shortbread, cutting out the buttery morsels with a cookie cutter into star patterns as she always did, covering them gently with sifted icing sugar!
I wish sometimes life was cookie cutter perfect, but its not! That’s’ the reality, and I can wallow and allow myself to spiral into the abyss of sadness or TRY to see my life as it is……….without my Mum, my sister or Savannah in it. I have to take comfort in my memories of past Christmases and HOPE I will have many more to enjoy. And after some amount of time you do realize that memories are precious. I’ve already made many today to hoard away to reflect on….if I’m lucky enough to be here next year!
Tone arrived tonight with my sister’s and his four beautiful children. Tucked behind their back was a plastic plate filled with shortbread…Tarnia’s recipie…..without the icing sugar or the star shapes but made with love and the force of a Dad trying to make this time of year special….to keep some memories and traditions alive for his kids! The shortbread are delicious and meant so much to me to see Tarnia’s girls deliver them, with beaming smiles at how proud they were to have made them. Alexander and Fraser are young men now, gorgeous and happy and seemingly unaffected….I am grateful for that!
Dad stopped in and shared a beer with Peter and me….it was tradition in our home growing up to have Christmas Eve drinks…..that tradition is still alive and kicking in our house……and I love that!
And then there’s Demps….what can I say. I wish everyone could share in my feeling of appreciation and pure joy at watching her tonight getting ready for Santa! Her excitement tonight is MY Christmas gift this year.
She has been sitting at our kitchen counter, cutting out name tags for Santa’s reindeers….we cut up nine chunks of carrot for his antlered workers and she has meticulously placed them on a concrete pillar outside our door……
Santa has cookies and milk and Dempsey’s specialty, a home made card, it’s all so precious I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with thankfulness for my little girl……tinged with sadness that her sister didn’t help tonight.
I know tomorrow tears will wake me as they always do Christmas morning….however I’ll cry and smile and love what the day brings. Swept up with the magic of what I DO have………
And to any of you reading who are suffering through your first Christmas without a loved one, I wish you strength…..to others who are experiencing their second or fifth or tenth or twenty-first or thirtieth Christmas without your special family members…I wish you strength too and hope you can find a few moments during the day to reflect, to smile, and to enjoy enough of whatever it may be you need out of the day.......