navigating the holidays after you've lost a loved one can be a tricky affair. i felt really prepared for this holiday in the early days of december. gifts were ordered and hidden, cards were created and mailed, singing engagements and parades filled my evenings and weekends. the first twelve days of Christmas were a whirlwind of festive activities.
but much of the past few weeks has been spent with dealing with *things*: preparing my parents house for the arrival of my grandfather, Pop-pop; wrapping the gifts i'd been hiding in my office; tying up loose ends at the hotel so that i could take some time off. *things* that kept me occupied, but not really engaged with anything that was going on around me.
so that when Christmas Eve arrived, i found we were kind of without a plan. what had been our routine over the past many years, was gone. there was no beach rental house for my grandparents and visiting relatives. my parents didn't show up on our doorstep with a gift for jack (even though i HAD cleaned the house!) there was no overly loud, fight-you-for-the-last-bit-of-turkey Christmas dinner planned.
there was an overwhelming urge to sleep, and yes, i did a lot of that. but there was more...
there were hours of Christmas music that soothed.
there was Christmas Eve service with jack singing Silent Night, Holy Night at the top of his clear, sweet voice (and how proud i was that he was able to read along in the hymnal.)
there was soup and a gorgeous loaf of herbed cheese bread i made from scratch.
there was finally peace and quiet.
there were Christmas nachos when we didn't have the inclination to cook the ham.
there was take-out Thai and bonfires and Mad Gab.
and there is a boy who Believes for one more year.