A look back on Christmas of 2011

As I stare into the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree nestled in a corner of my living room, I cannot help but reflect on Christmases past.

I can hear my children running down the stairs of our family home anxious to see what awaits them under the tree. I can hear them whisper and giggle as they take down their stockings from the stairway railing. I can see the cats running and jumping wildly among the wrapped gifts, pawing at the ribbons and batting at the dangling tree ornaments. I can smell the coffee in my hand as I watch the scene before me unfold and I can hear the click of the camera as my husband captures each moment. The warmth of the memory makes me smile and I almost miss the tears running down my cheeks. I sigh a long, deep, sad sigh. Memories are all that remain.

From the decorating of the house to the cutting of the tree, nothing has been the same. Though I have attempted to make things as ‘normal’ and traditional as always, there is a lingering sadness that just won’t shake away.  My boys have done their part to keep spirits light and jolly, but their eyes do not lie and my heart breaks for them. When will we be free of this darkness? It seems we may never be.

What I have come to realize is that time does not heal all wounds. Time gives you opportunity to learn to live with your hurt. Because living is what we must do despite what life hurls at us.

My boys have an entire life ahead of them and my hope is they will remember with fondness the traditions we established early on in their lives. And though we have been forced to change those traditions a bit, I hope they will appreciate the attempt to carry them on despite the holes.

As I dry my tears for what feels like the millionth time this year, I have to smile as the cats’ bat at the dangling tree ornaments, knocking dry needles from the tree. This Christmas will not be like the twenty Christmases before. It will be different. As will the Christmases that follow. But the memories will remain forever, and new memories will soon be made. 

This Christmas marks the beginning of something new….

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