Thanks to my dear family, I made it through the holidays without too much trouble or too many breakdowns. It was hard, of course, and there were days that I honestly didn't think I could put one foot in front of the other. But I did, and I continue to do so.
Christmas was difficult mainly in anticipation and in retrospect. The day itself was filled with watching the grandkids open gifts, lots of laughter and fun, and a delicious meal with my sister and brother-in-law, to which I was accompanied by my oldest son.
Decorations in my home were muted. Jim & I had a tradition (that he first participated in very reluctantly!) of having family and friends over to decorate. This year, I had a few lights and a rosemary bush, which managed to look festive - almost in spite of me. I had done most of my shopping throughout the year, so there was no real rush to get things done "in time," and I resumed making Christmas cookies - which I had foregone last year - with the help of my two local grandkids. I think I will try to make that a new tradition - including them - since I think it's important to remember and honor the past while moving ahead with what feels right for my future.
|Addison and Ada take roses to Grandpa.|
|Drew singing Christmas songs for Grandpa.|
In retrospect, although I had a wonderful Christmas, received a few delightful gifts - more, really, than I wanted or needed - and treasure each memory, there has been a keen sense of not having that special gift from that special person. Jim always paid attention throughout the year to my passing comments or things that he thought I would enjoy doing or having, and my gifts from him always reflected that. It is, I suppose, the universal loss for the one who is left behind. And, of course, I missed surprising him with carefully chosen gifts.
So, the year in which my beloved last lived has ended. There are new things ahead, and I find that I'm feeling more anticipation for what the year might bring than I was even a few days ago. I fully expect to continue to have both good days and bad, and I'm sure that grief will continue to sneak up on me from time to time - as it did when I sat down to write this - but I also know that I was blessed to be loved by a wonderful man, and that knowledge sustains me every day.