The hardest part about Christmas is always the empty chairs, especially that chair.
I sat on my Mom's couch last night listening to Christmas music and looking at the tree that she put up just for us in her new home she's not even living in yet. She wants today over with. This year seems to be harder than last year and none of us thought that would even seem possible.
Every day that passes is a day that brings us farther away than June 8, 2012. The last day that I spoke with my Father. I try to honor and carry him with me every day but it's so hard. It's hard when the phone doesn't ring. It's hard when no one calls and asks, "What are you doing?" (His way of saying hi.) It's hard when the radio plays a favorite song of his or even passing a jar of cashews or anything that reminds you that he's not here.
Things change. They say that's life but some days it hurts more than you thought it would. Some days the tears don't want to stop.
What do you do? You try to be gentle with yourself and with those around you. You try to stitch up your broken heart only to have it tear again. Life. Again. A constant cycle of mending and loving and living and being. We go on carrying our loved ones with us. We try to remember that we're not alone in our being human. We reach and grasp for what we can. We hope that tomorrow is gentler and kinder than today.
Today? For me, I'll watch my beloved son and little nephew open their presents. I'll watch my new niece with her wide blue eyes take everything in. I'll be gentle, or at least try to be. I'll listen to my Dad's music and remember his wonderful laugh and full heart. I carry him with me every day.
Merry Christmas to you.