Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A happier Christmas

Christmas Eve at my Mom's house in 2007.  Veronica was nine months old.  Valerie had just turned three.

If I had known this would be the last Christmas at my Mom's house, perhaps I would have gone over earlier and stayed a little longer.  Perhaps we would have laughed a bit more and taken many, many more pictures and video.  Even the usually grumpy Veronica was all smiles as my Mom held her.  Valerie insisted that my Mom take a picture with Fred, the pink bunny in the picture.  The next day, my parents came to my house for Christmas Day and dinner.  As usual, they bolted as soon as we cleared the table.  We never knew why, but this was the norm for them on any holiday.  Eat and leave, never staying the afternoon.   If she had known, I bet she would have stayed the day.

After Christmas, my Mom went clearance shopping as she always did. She bought decorations and gift sets for my girls.  I only know this because we found a box on the highest shelf in the hall closet labeled "for Christmas 2008."  We found the gift sets that she most likely picked up for pennies on the dollar hidden in her bedroom closet.

If only any of us had known.....

My Mom died the following summer after months of mysterious pain. Its onset was sudden, and at first there were no other clues. Pain that went undiagnosed and untreated.  It was quite by accident that the pain clinic found a spot on her lung.  It was quite by accident that the neurologist found numerous bone mets, hence the source of her pain.  We never got any answers, because by then, she was too far gone to pursue an official diagnosis.

Then a few years later, my Dad left us as well.

It's not that we haven't had a happy Christmas since then. There's nothing like seeing your children bursting with joy on Christmas morning. Their excitement is catching.  It's fun decorating, planning, and wrapping.  It's just.... different.  Time has made it easier.  It's hard when your kids are so young and have no grandparents. Those times were happier times, and I wish we would have had a few more so that my girls would remember. Make memories with your loved ones this holiday season while you can because you never know when it'll be the last.

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  1. Poignant and beautiful. I hope it inspires people. we've had enough of those "if only" moments that I try to take your advice every day.

  2. What a beautiful entry and a beautiful remembrance of your mother. Merry Christmas.

  3. Beautiful post. Love the pics, M.

    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!