Posted by: Kathy | December 8, 2009

Getting Through the Holidays

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I almost said was instead of is. But I’m trying to not let the deep-seated feelings of loss and heartache take away from the importance of this holiday season. Getting through the holidays without a loved one is difficult, but Christmas is especially hard.

Christmas was my mom’s favorite holiday. She decorated the house, shopped for all of the gifts, and prepared a very special family dinner. And she did all of this with love because it was something she truly enjoyed. It was something my mom wanted to do.

Sadly, last year I realized that it was my mom who put the magic into my Christmas. It was the first Christmas without my mom and the day just wasn’t the same for me. The special warmth that had once surrounded my Christmas day was missing. The very familiar feelings were gone, almost as if they had disappeared with the death of my mom. At the end of the day, I was left with a feeling of emptiness. I realize that I was probably feeling the loss of my mom’s presence physically. But it was more than that, something that I just can’t put into words. I hid these “negative” feelings because I wanted my family to have a special day, especially the kids.

I wish I didn’t have to celebrate another Christmas without my mom. I do follow some of her traditions like making certain dishes and getting an ornament for each of my children, just like my mom did every year for my brother and me. But I want to follow these traditions with my mom. I want to share the cooking with her. I want to pick out the ornaments with her, or at least show them to her before I give them to the kids. I want to get another ornament from her for my tree. I want my mom back to share Christmas with me and the rest of her family. I want to be able to look into her eyes and tell my mom how special she made Christmas for me.

My wishes will not become reality. My mom is gone and that’s something I have to accept. I will not share another Christmas with her, but all that she did for me will always be in my heart. The best I can do is follow my mom’s traditions and keep her love and memories alive. I will share with my kids what my mom shared with me. I realize that it’s up to me to fill my mom’s role in making Christmas a very special day for my family. These are very big “shoes” to fill and at times it feels overwhelming. But this is something I want to do. I want to be like my mom.

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