Before we knew it, you could hear these words all about you. "The holdidays are coming! The holidays are coming!" Oh we were saying them too, just not filled with excitement as everyone else. How could you not be excited about something that usually meant the world to you? How could you go from child-like anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas to actually dreading them and wishing you could fast forward the clock to January? It did not even seem possible. But by the begining of November we were already discussing what we were going to do. How can we make generations of Christmas traditions look different without losing the generations of Christmas tradition???
We did not know how we would feel, what we would want to do, or where we would want to be. But we did know one thing, we did not want to be in Mom's house, decorating with Mom's ornaments, cooking in Mom's kitchen, and eating Mom's famous Christmas dinner, on Mom's Christmas tablecloth that she kept so neatly pressed and hung in the hall closet. We needed to get away, do something different, be in a different environment, with different scenery, if only for this first year. This was our first real Holiday without Mom.....surely this would be the worst? It would have to get better after this one, right? Certainly, we could go back to our regular traditions next year? I had purposefully been anticipating December 4th, the actual anniversary date of Mom's death, but had under estimated the power of emotion that would accompany the two months preceeding it. I had not realized just how hard the weeks prior to that dreadful day would be. It was not just "the day," for me.......it was the whole "season," and all that occurred and happened leading up to Dec. 4th as well. As soon as the first cool day came, it hit me like a brick. It was here. Fall was here. Fall was when Mom really got sick. Fall was when Mom began dying. So, October and November were already proving to be tough, much less with the "holidays coming" too.
Fortunately, for us, we were blessed with an invitation from Patrick's parents graciously inviting us all over to merge with their family for Thanksgiving. So now what about Christmas? Something else would come up, right? It would have to. We were not strong enough yet to handle things as status quo. The "right thing" would come along. So, we waited. And waited.