Christmas lights are all aglow and trees are decorated. Christmas Carols are on the radio. Once more, Christmas has come without you.
It's the second since you left. I hardly remember last year. Your loss was so new and the pain was so intense. It's a little better this year since I've already experienced an anniversary of all things Christmas without you. I have to realize Honey that nothing will ever be the same again. Everything in my life is different and I need to learn to live with it, and accept it.
Our home was the "hub" for so many years. It was where our children and grandchildren came to celebrate the season. The celebration started long before Christmas Eve. It would start on December 3rd (Daren's birthday) when we would start putting up Christmas lights. Then there would be three Christmas trees in our front room, one in our family room, and one in the garage (aka recreation room). The girls and I would get together and make fudge and caramel apples while listening to A Roger Whitaker's Christmas.
Remember many years ago when our grandchildren were young, I thought perhaps our children would like to start their own Christmas Eve traditions and not feel forced in coming to our house. So on December 22, we had our family Christmas Party at the Payson City Center. We had turkey and dressing and all the trimmings. Santa came with gifts for all the kids. It was a wonderful party.
Then Christmas Eve came. You and I were home, alone, when Daren called. "What are you and Dad doing tonight?" He asked.
"We're just going to be home," I replied.
"Well. Maybe Andie and I will bring the boys over."
"We'd love to have you." I answered and we disconnected just in time for the phone to ring again. It was Mark.
"What are you doing?" He asked.
"Not much." I replied. "Daren just called and said he and Andie were going to bring the boys over later."
"Well, maybe Dawna and I and the kids will come over." He said.
"That will be good." I answered once more. "I will have some dinner ready if you're hungry."
The next call was from Rainee. "What are you and Dad doing tonight?" She asked.
"Well. We were just going to be home. Daren and Mark said they were coming over with the kids. I was planning on fixing dinner."
"Well maybe Shane and I will come over too." She said.
"That will be wonderful." I replied. "Why don't you call your sisters and let them know we're having our Christmas Eve party."
We ended up having two Christmas parties that year. One on the twenty-second of December and one on Christmas Eve.
I don't have a house now Honey. Oh. I have a home. Actually, I have seven of them (eight counting my sister Lola's.) However, I have to relinquish being the hub. I need to hand that down to my children. They now carry the torch of traditions, and I will share in theirs and I pray that when they have watched many Christmas' come and go, they will look back and have the warm, fond memories that I have.
As for me, Honey. I need to find myself another tradition. I need to find something else that will take the place of the old while I'm waiting to meet you wherever it is you're at. I'm not certain what that will be right now. It might take my searching a little to find it. "If you happen to be searching for Christmas, don't forget to look in the heart." Those are my words, and I need to follow them.
If you, perchance, are able to see the road that I should be traveling, let me know what exit I need to take in my new search. Help me find it.
I love you Honey. You are always on my mind and in my heart.
Far Beyond the 12th of Never.