Today is the first Christmas we don’t hear your steps running down the hall to wake everyone up to say it’s Christmas. You always had so much excitement for Christmas. We would turn on the Yule Log channel and listen to Christmas music as we opened presents. Your laugh was jollier than Santa’s and your smile would melt any snowman, or snowwoman for that matter. Yet this year, there was something missing. You.
We played the Yule Log channel and listened to Christmas music but your jolly laughter was missing. We felt you near as if you were watching over us and trying to comfort us. I would sometimes feel you over my shoulder as I watched the kids open presents. I made sure you had gifts for them under the tree. We hung up all the stockings, starting with yours. While presents filled the others, your was filled with love and memories.
My new tradition is to write to you my thoughts each year and place it lovingly in your stocking, never to be removed. The kids might join me in doing this one year but this year they just weren’t ready. New traditions take some getting used to, as does the loss of not having you here. We try to honor you and hold tight to old traditions we started together that first Christmas. I placed ornaments on the tree that represent some of those traditions. Each ornament told the story of us. This year there were some new ones that told YOUR story. The story of the amazing father and husband you were. Strike that. The amazing father and husband that you ARE and will always be.
The echo of your laugh resonates in my mind. The love that you left fills our hearts and home, the home we created. This year that is what kept us going. Those moments and those memories gave us all the strength to smile every time a memory started to roll down our cheek. The kids truly believe mommy has “leaking eyes” and when they say that a little laugh can fix those “leaks.”
Thank you love. Thank you for giving us those memories and for being one to always want to create traditions. For those traditions are what helped us through this new Christmas without you. Holding on to something familiar made this unchartered territory not so scary or vacant. I don’t think it will ever get easy but it is easy to love and remember you, always. Merry Christmas love.