Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Blah

For most of my life......leading up to 2011, I always celebrated holidays and Christmas specifically with a full heart and a big smile and an overall feeling of happiness.  I knew and realized that this time of year brought great sadness for other people but I had no idea just how hard it could be for people.  While I tried to sympathize with others, I will admit that I didn't dwell on or give it a ton of thought.  I was busy living and loving and enjoying life.  Just as I should have been.

It's crazy how your perspective on life and holidays and Christmas can really change when you experience a significant loss.  Christmas is no longer 100% fun or full of joy.  It's tainted with heartache and there is an undeniable void that always lingers.  As much as you try to push that aside there is always something that brings back a memory or reminds you that he's gone.  It's never the same.  Never ever.

Just this week, I noticed:

* that watching Christmas Vacation will never be the same.  While sweet boy enjoys this movie.....he does not have the same passion for it as Jason and I did.  And he doesn't laugh at all the same spots that we did and he doesn't spend an hour after it's over reciting the funny lines from the movie.

Not bad, just different.

* Jason really got into the Elf on the Shelf tradition.  He would usually be in charge of moving Cronko because he was more of a night owl and he sort of took care of that for me.  In Shawn's defense, he's still adjusting to having kids.....let alone messing with a stupid elf.  I get it.

Not bad, just different.

*  By this point, Jason would start asking when I would be making peppermint bark and he would start talking about all the wassail he would soon consume at my parent's Christmas Eve party.  Shawn probably doesn't even know that I make peppermint bark and he's never had my mom's wassail.  In his defense it's only because he's new to the scene.  In a few years, I will probably say the same about him.

* Jason (and me too) loved to take the boys out to look at Christmas lights.....the boys in their jammies and us making a QT run so that he could get a large Mighty Mocha to drink on the ride.  Shawn isn't used to experiencing Christmas through a child's eyes and the simple act of driving to see lights falls short on his list.  

* When the boys were tiny, Jason and I would spend hours on Christmas Eve stuffing stockings and putting toys together and arranging them by the tree.  After getting it all ready, we would sit by the tree and open our stocking gifts to each other because we knew that the next morning would be crazy and all about the boys and we wanted that time just he and I.  We would giggle as he took a bite of the "cookies for Santa" and he'd take a giant sip of the milk left out.  

If I close my eyes.....I can still see his face and his expression.  I can still hear that laugh.

Will the boys remember all that?

What I hate the most is that I had 35 years of living in oblivion and knowing the simple joy of the holidays.  My boys got jipped in that area......and honestly this will be all they know.  Life without their daddy and celebrating with that taint of sadness.

I will obviously do my best to conceal my sadness and create happy new memories for them.....but I'll admit that it's harder than it seems to do that sometimes.

This morning as I was wiping the number off our countdown to Christmas plaque I realized that my heart is secretly rushing the days away.  I'm honestly ready for January.  Even though January and all the months after that will still not have Jason in them... Christmas time seems to magnify the pain.

But then as I watched these precious little boys eat their breakfast and try to find the elf (that I moved about 1 minute before they woke up because I forgot last night) I reminded myself that I owe it to them to embrace this season and to make it as fun and enjoyable as possible.

Praying that each year gets easier!


Christy said...

Thinking of you!

Matt and Kristen said...

Praying for you during this season.

Jennifer said...

This made me cry! I am so happy that you have Shawn to help you through this and your kids will be okay. I bet it will be hard for them one day when they are married with their own families. Only then, will they realize everything you have gone through for them, all the smiles when you wanted to cry, traditions that take time to implement and little things that only families know about each other.

Anonymous said...

This post makes me want to give you a big hug! Many blessings to you!

Maggie Coleman said...

Thinking and praying for you during this holiday season! Wishing you & your family nothing but the best! xoxoxox

Vanessa said...

Prayers for you- you're right it won't be the same, but you can create new traditions for all of you together and keep the old ones, too.

Christyn said...

Yes. To all of it. A thousand times yes. I'm crying for you, for me, for all the widowed spouses trying to make it through Christmas this year. Driving around looking for the best lights, anticipating special holiday treats...all of that is wrapped up in every Christmas memory I have of me, Kevin, and the Bear. I'm keeping on for her, but my heart's not in it. Thank you for voicing it, for being brave enough to say "This doesn't feel right and I'm sad and I wish it were all over." You will probably never know how much your words are helping me in this first year without my husband.

Ashley said...

I'm so sorry for your pain. Praying for your heart.

Lindsay said...

How incredible honest...and raw. So glad you continue to write it all down...there is healing there. Thank you for sharing with all of us who have experienced our own versions of love and loss. Your stories are so painful...and yet so beautiful at the same time...such is life. A bittersweet symphony indeed.

All our love this Christmas season and always Jennifer!