Monday, December 21, 2009

Our First Christmas Without You

It is the perfect winter day. The kind you see in those warm, fuzzy Christmas movies. Big, fat snowflakes are flitting down outside my window. The logs in the fire are popping and sizzling and the firelight is sending off a beautiful orange glow in the room. I have hot cider in my favorite mug and old fashioned Christmas songs running through my head. And you are here too. In the forefront of my thoughts.

This is our first Christmas without you. I don't quite know what to expect. Without you here there seems to be such a big part of Christmas missing. It just isn't the same. I miss your "oohs" and "aahs" at each and every decoration. I miss hearing you sing along to all of the beautiful songs. I miss the Christmas sweaters you wore. I miss your joy and elation at all things Christmas. I miss your enthusiasm, your elation, your wonder, your joy. Without you here Christmas feels a bit flat. Lifeless.

Mom could not bring herself to put up any decorations this year. I guess when you spend over 50 years celebrating Christmas with someone it seems impossible to enjoy it when they are gone. I imagine each decoration reminds mom of how much you shared together and how much she misses you. And I can certainly understand that, but it makes me even sadder. It makes you feel that much farther away. I need those reminders of you. I need to remember those wonderful Christmas memories and hold on to them when I am missing you most.

I have been wearing a couple of your sweaters lately. They seem to be all I want to wear. They are comforting to me. And since mom isn't using the decorations I asked if I could have Alfie this Christmas. After all, he was your favorite. I thought maybe if I have Alfie in our house it will be like having a piece of you here with me too. I have such fond memories of you bringing Alfie out and setting him on top of the window box every year right before Christmas. I always thought it was so funny that you liked that little elf so much, but I think he always brought out the kid in you just as Christmas seems to do for so many of us.

This Christmas is such a mix for me. I am so excited for the boys. Their energy is palpable this year as they count down the days. And then of course, this is Grace's first Christmas. Last year she was just a dream, and now here she is celebrating with us. I have everything I've always wanted. But, even still, I can feel that hole. That missing. How I wish you were here with us too, daddy.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll feel you with us. I've been waiting so long to see you. Or hear you. Or feel you around. Maybe I'll find comfort in your sweaters. Or joy from your favorite, Alfie. Or maybe I'll feel you with us as we watch our boys enjoying all the magic of Christmas. Perhaps I'll feel you in the music at Christmas mass. Or maybe I'll finally see you in my dreams. I have hope.

I know heaven must be the ultimate place to celebrate Christmas, but I hope you'll visit us too. I hope when I look at the twinkling lights on the tree you'll be looking at them with me. This, our first Christmas in our new home. Our first Christmas as a family of six. And our first Christmas without you.

25 comments:

Brittany said...

You got me crying, right of the get-go. This was a beautiful post. Such an amazing tribute to your father. I hope the holidays are blessed with new memories, and remembering the old.

Happy Holidays to you and yours. Many prayers sent your way!

-Brittany

Musings of a Homeschooling Mom said...

This was such a beautiful post. Tears are streaming down my face. I am praying for you, your mom and your entire family. We just lost my husband's dad on Dec. 6th unexpectedly. His stepmom is refusing to decorate or do Christmas and it is killing me. I know it's because Christmas is going to be so hard on her. I can do nothing other than pray for my husband. It hurts so much. I hope you have a good Christmas and hope you sense your Dad there with you!

Jessica

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I can only imagine how hard this is for you.
I hope you are able to find comfort, and enjoy the holidays.
xoxo

Doc said...

What a very touching post. I hope those sweaters do give you some comfort... You are right about heaven being a great place to celebrate but I have to believe he will be with you.

Merry Christmas Kat

Mom24 said...

I'm so sorry for your hole. I can imagine, and it makes me so sad. Thinking of you makes me hold my dad extra close.

(((Hugs)))

lime said...

what a bittersweet holiday indeed. i hope alphie makes you smile. i'm glad you've got the sweaters. and i do hope your mom finds some joy in the season as well.

Emily said...

I know this will be a special and difficult Christmas all at the same time.

Rima said...

Oh, that has got to be so hard. I hope you can feel your Dad with you in spirit this year.

Fire Hunt said...

This was such a beautiful post Thank you.

Dawn said...

Alfie is adorable. My heart goes out to you and your family as you're missing your Dad this Christmas. I hope that you'll see him in your dreams.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

The first holidays are SO tough. Peace, Kat. I wish you lots of peace.

Jessa said...

So hard to be both happy (because your life is good and you are thankful) and sad (because an essential piece is missing). *sigh* I can only offer a cyber (((HUG))).

tweetey30 said...

I have tears running down my face because I have just lost my grandfather last week and know the pain you are feeling. I wasnt close to him because he lived 2000 miles away but still it hurts.. I hope you find peace my friend... Hugs...

Riahli said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful loving dad, it's no wonder you miss him so dearly. When you write about your dad I see the love in your words, and the pain at losing him and it brings tears to my eyes. It must be so hard to feel such a mixture of emotions this Christmas. Embrace it all if you can the happy and the sad, laugh through the tears.

My husband lost his mother this year, quite suddenly to cancer, and so I can see that he is struggling this season also. I wish I knew the right words, but since I have yet to suffer such a loss I can't fully understand the depth of this sort of pain.

I wish I had the right words for you too.

Elaine A. said...

Thinking of you this Christmas season as you are missing your father. I'm sure that is very hard. I hope you can feel him with you on Friday. Many hugs and prayers...

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

What a mixture of emotions, hon. I hope he does visit you this Christmas and leaves you with a feeling of ultimate peace...

imbeingheldhostage said...

I've really been thinking of you and your Dad a lot. I've been wondering about your Mom and how she was coping (as well as how her health is) and knowing you would be torn between missing him and enjoying watching Grace this year. Your Dad touched lives far beyond just those he met in person Kat, because of your words. My prayers will be with you and your family for peace at Christmas. ((hugs))

Momisodes said...

You have me tears. I can only imagine how difficult it is to celebrate the holidays without your father this year. I hope that you will feel his love and his presence somehow. But I know he is there with you all.

painted maypole said...

oh, these big holidays can be rough. hugs to you.

Maggie's Mind said...

Oh, Kat, I wish I could just wrap up hugs and send them to you. I have a really hard time this time of year missing my mom. She was Christmas. I get it and wish there was a cure for how much it hurts. I haven't found one yet. If I do, you'll be the first to know.

Hilary said...

Such a bittersweet time for you. I'm sorry for the ache of loss that you feel and hope you are right.. that you'll feel your Dad's presence.. I suspect that you will. Hugs to you and yours on this holiday season.

April said...

Beautiful, heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing it.

Krystyn said...

I will be thinking of you during this first Christmas without your dad and first with your daughter.

Not Your Aunt B said...

I know your dad will be there with you in spirit, but I know you wish you could wrap your arms around him and give him a big hug. My heart goes out to your mom- it just made so sad to hear she couldn't even put up the decorations. Thinking of you all.

Scrappy said...

Just hours before I saw that you posted this I learned that my good friend's dad had passed away of a heart attack the night before and I knew I just could not read this post right then. I pray that you, and my friend find peace, love, and signs of your daddies near this holiday.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson