December 25, 2012
Christmas is here again . . .
This used to be one of my favourite Christmas songs:Christmas is here again, stand up and cheer again Let’s leave our heartaches and sorrows behind All that I want is to be here beside you, all that I need is right here in my arms All that I want is to know that you love me, and this will be my finest Christmas time
I’ve shared it with the girls now and then, as I can hug them in my arms and feel the words ring true – but it has still been a tough one (among SO many others) to listen to these past few years.
This is our fourth Christmas without Elias. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fathom it. As each year passes I think it will still come as a shock.
I tried so much harder this year to feel more of the Christmas spirit. I tried to not let the pain hit quite as deeply. And, in some ways I actually managed. Reminding myself how the days leading up are so often worse and attempting to shake that off helped a little. Being ridiculously busy at work definitely helped a lot – even if only to make me too tired to even think about much else than how tired I was (though, I can’t complain much about that, as I need it to be busy! but, I ran myself pretty ragged . . . )
We did an activity advent calendar again this year – or, at least we tried to. As things often go with me, I didn’t ‘quite’ get it out on time. By the time I got organized enough to even start, it was December 9th and we had some serious catching up to do! We had a (rare, and what would be my last) store free day and I wanted to dedicate it completely to the girls and ‘winter/christmas’ activities. I stayed up late the night before trying to clean, start a few decorations, and get organized for the day so as not to lose time – it felt so worth it when I heard the girls’ excitement when they woke up . . . that is, until I heard them decide that elves must have done all that hard work. Damn elves got all the credit! Ah well, the magic in it for them was worth it in the end.
We had a really great day – snowman pancakes, candy cane doughnuts, trekked out to the woods and cut down our own tree, peppermint hot chocolate (a few food related ones it seems . . .), Santa visit, etc. It was busy, but we had a LOT of fun (though, I ‘almost’ fell apart when driving back with our tree and that song ‘Christmas Shoes’ came on the radio . . . .).
As I put the girls to bed that night, I felt good about all we had done, and the fun we had in it all. I hopped in the shower and was just thinking about how proud Elias would be. Standing with my hands on my hips and the water as hot as I could bear on my back, I smiled, and felt him smiling back. I whispered words in my head to him, felt his love in my heart, and imagined his answers.
Then, as I almost literally felt his arms go through mine and wrap around my waist to hug me, felt him kiss my cheek and whisper in my ear how proud he was, I lost it. Completely.
One second, standing proud with a smile on my face, the next fighting to stay standing and coughing out tears in a magnitude I haven’t faced in some time. And, I just. couldn’t. stop.
I don’t know how long it went, but once the water faded from hot to warm, I knew cold would be coming soon and I finally forced myself to turn it off and grab my towel. As I buried my face in it with tears still coming, I suddenly heard E at the door. She was bringing me something from her bedroom – she hadn’t fallen asleep yet – though she hand’t heard me crying.
She realized pretty quickly when she saw me, however, that I had been. She asked what was wrong. Nothing like this to snap you back out of it all – but I just told her that I was thinking about Daddy. About how proud I knew he was of us and what a great day we had, but that also made me miss him a lot as well, and I was feeling sad from missing him. She then asked if I could snuggle with her some more. Of course I did. She let me know that she misses him a lot too.
From then on, the last two weeks were incredibly busy. My parents were away for part of it, so I was looking after their dogs as well, the girls had their Christmas concert at school, E performed two numbers in a local telethon fundraiser, dentist appointments, skating day at school (another moment in which Elias would have both laughed hysterically and been incredibly proud as it was C’s first time on ice, and after spending the first few minutes screaming, she ended up doing great), along with spending at least part of every. single. day. at the store.
I’ve felt Elias’ presence around in many other ways as well. Sometimes it feels as if he’s just trying to slap me in the face to remind me that he’s still here. Guiding me to things I needed to see. To things I was thinking about finding, but not even looking for. Messing with my lights. I was even completely floored with a visit from an old friend of his family’s today – an amazing, beautiful woman who sang at his funeral. I hadn’t seen her since, but had been thinking of her just the other day – wondering if there was a recording of when she sang – and in she walked.
Still, as I sit here after Christmas Eve dinner with my parents and my sisters family (which I am SO happy about since it’s been quite a while since we’ve had Christmas with them) and looking forward to spending the day with them tomorrow, the fact that Elias is not here still just hurts so, very much. Beyond words. No matter how much I can feel his presence or how much Christmas spirit I can muster . . .
The girls wrote messages/drew pictures to Daddy, which we put in his stocking tonight, as we have done each year without him. They love doing it and it’s always been a positive activity for them – though as C was drawing her picture (of Daddy as an angel) I heard her simply say ‘All I want for Christmas is Daddy back’. Heart breaking. But, I also understand the sentiment.
We will have fun with my family tomorrow. I’m hoping we will ichat with both of Elias’ brothers and their families tomorrow too. And, we will miss Elias. Deeply.
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Merry Christmas, My Love.
P.S. I Love You