It is so crazy what sort of negative anticipation a day can bring.
I was not at all looking forward to this Christmas… the first one without my son Justin. We did not put up a tree. I did not cook. I did not purchase any gifts until December 24th when my husband and I went up town to find things for our son Brad who would be joining us for Christmas Day. Until that point I had avoided retail stores as I did not want to see the decorations or the happy people eagerly choosing the gift that would make their persons day.
I had been told, from those who has gone before me on this painful path that the anticipation of the “day/holiday” is usually much worse than the actual day. It is kind of hard to tell because I think by the time I reached Christmas Day I was numb. I did what I had to do because my son was here and we tried to carry on with a little normalcy. We watched TV and I gave Brad Justin’s IPAD knowing that I would never be able to use it myself and it would sit in storage until it was obsolete. We had to guess at Justin’s password and by using his password hints we were able to figure it out, clean out his personal notes and register it to Brad. We also logged him off of his Facebook which 8 months ago was unthinkable. As you can imagine it was a hard thing to do… but I know it was the right thing to do and Justin would have approved.
Al and Brad played cribbage on Justin’s cribbage board. Justin LOVED cribbage and Al and he would play for hours. It was sort of symbolic to use his board for the game. I felt as though he were including him.
In the late afternoon we drove to the Casino which honestly Justin would have thought was an awesome way to spend Christmas. We came up with that idea a few weeks ago as they have a seafood buffet. At the time of decision I kept saying “Oh, we are those people you feel bad for because they have no traditions on Christmas…” Once there, I seen my opinion on this was incorrect. The casino was packed but not filled with sad and lonely lost people as I had imagined but couples and friends hanging out and having a good time. Families were at the buffet and exchanging gifts and I had to change my attitude to maybe this was a nice way for families to enjoy a delicious meal and be together just as much as sitting at home around a tree.
Family traditions can be wherever you land.
I was wiped out by the time we came home around 8 pm. Being “on” all day and the constant knowing what is missing while you try to keep going forward is exhausting. I sat down and had a glass of wine out of a glass that Justin had made and hated that he was not here… and so glad I had climbed another milestone of firsts and made it through. Justin wanted me to be happy. I am trying kid… I am trying.
Thank you to those of you who sent me a Christmas card. That is so nice and I so appreciate your kind and encouraging words.
For those of you signed up to participate in 1st Book of the year, don’t forget to send me your picture! Looking forward to the post!