The Tree Of Christmas

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” – Buddha

Tonight was about decorating the Christmas tree and the house.  It has been a busy week, but finally some time was found for the tradition.  And as my nephew and went through all the Christmas decoration boxes, unpacked the ornaments and decorated the tree, I could not help but feel a bittersweet tinge.

The first Christmas without my father, the second without Mom, and the first without both of them. It felt surreal to put all the ornaments that I remember seeing as a child.  I told my nephew some funny stories about a few of them, and which ones were his grandmother’s favorite, which ones where bought at which places, and some stories behind a few of them.

And the stockings are hung, the lights are out, the Christmas candle holders, candles, figurines, places mats, table cloths and more.  We listened to the Christmas carols as we put everything out.

The torch has been passed on to me – the traditions, the decorations, the stories.  I only hope that I make them proud, but I think they are happy as they look down. I am at the last part of the grief process – acceptance.  I will take my place, as they would want.

I will miss them terribly this Christmas, and all others to come, but I still must celebrate life and love. And I remember how terrible the holidays were last year and am suddenly thankful that is all  in the past.

As I close out this year, this terrible, hard, painful year, I am also thankful for the good times there have been.  I am thankful for the family, for the friends and for the love I have witnessed.  I am thankful for new love and new beginnings in new chapters. I look forward to the wonderful opportunities ahead.  I look forward to kisses under the mistletoe, naughty hot chocolate with friends, and life in general.  This Christmas is about saying goodbye in the best way, and saying hello to everything coming.

And maybe that is the gift of this holiday season, with this tree, and these ornaments and this life.  Maybe it is the chance for happiness and all of my dreams to come true. They loved my with all of their hearts, and loved me enough for a lifetime.  And I will love my life and all those in it with all of my heart.

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