Happy Be-lated Thanksgiving! (Was that really only a week ago?) Happy Birthday to Tigger! (Did he really just turn a year older?) So much has happened that I'm having trouble keeping up with things. It's amazing how fast time goes. Sometimes I feel like I've been put in a roller coaster without a seat belt and have to hang on for dear life so I don't fall out. I'm sure no one ever feels that way. :)
I never expected the holidays to be hard. About a month ago, a newsletter came from Hospice of the Valley about how to deal with the holidays. I glanced through it before throwing it away, not completely understanding why it had been sent. Overall, I think I've been dealing with things pretty well, something that I'll get into in a later post. I just wasn't prepared for "the holidays."
We celebrated Thanksgiving with my side of the family a week early. It turned out beautifully and was pretty low key. We celebrated with Hubby's side of the family on Thanksgiving day at a local park. It was a big affair with Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. The last time I remember a gathering like that was many years ago.
Tigger loved being around so many cousins. Hubby enjoyed seeing cousins he hadn't seen in years as well. Of course that brings up the inevidable question of kids. Some of our family didn't know about Lion. Thankfully, Hubby was the one who answered that question for us. He's good that way, and I love him for it.
It's been a long standing tradition to print our Christmas cards on Black Friday. We had family pictures taken down at the cemetery this year and we saw those proofs Thanksgiving day. And the picture frenzy began. We went through our shots of Tigger and Lion to put together our Christmas card. Then family members asked for a digital copy of Lion. I found myself slowing down and looking at our precious little ones, savoring the memories that each image invoked. Tears filled my eyes and I gradually began to understand why we got that letter in the mail.
Since I’ve gone through all the pictures and have graduated to stuffing envelopes, my thoughts go to how old Lion would be, what he would be doing, how he would be developing. If he grew as Tigger did, he’d be running around the house by now. It’s one of those bitter-sweet moments. I know Lion is where he’s supposed to be, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss him terrible. That doesn’t mean I don’t think of him every day. That doesn’t mean this holiday season is going to be horrible without him here. That just means it will be different.
I can see why those who have a loved ones pass away struggle at this time of year. It’s not easy to have a constant reminder that someone you love isn’t with you to celebrate the joys of the season with you. That ache seems to be closer to the surface for some reason. But I know that Lion will be with us even though we won’t be able to see him. I know that someday I will see him. I am very grateful for my family, for Hubby, Tigger, Lion, my parents, siblings (that includes my in-law side of the family. I always hated the in-law phrase. In my eyes, they are all my brothers and sisters.).
Happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to show gratitude this season and give an extra hug or two. :)