Have a holly, guilty Christmas

Yesterday, after a full day of sitting at home with the kids, opening presents and playing with those presents, and then picking up after all those presents time and time again, we started to get all 5 children ready for bed. As I was helping my 6 year old, Faith, I asked her if she had a good Christmas. She nodded quickly with a smile and I added, “Best one yet?” She nodded again.

Suddenly, I regretted asking her that. And for a split second I was hurt by her response. Of course I did my best to give her the best Christmas I could, but Christmas will be forever missing her daddy. And that’s something I can’t give back. And, I’m thrilled that she enjoyed our first Christmas as a family of 7, with two new sisters and wonderful dad in her life that love her immensely.  But my regret came from feeling like I made her choose between her life before and her life now. Obviously, that’s absurd but that’s how I felt in the moment.

As a widow, I am always careful about using phrases like “best day ever” or “best time ever” because it always feels like that is somehow disrespecting the life I had with Jeremy.  Like if I say it, it means Jeremy suddenly means less to me. So I steer clear of theses phrases of absolutes. I surprised even myself when I asked Faith if she had the best Christmas ever. I got caught up in the joy of a child-like excitement and when I heard her answer, it suddenly brought me back to reality.

I don’t want that to bother me. I want all of our kids to be able to have the best Christmas ever. When I really sat on it, I realized that I, too, enjoyed Christmas this year. What a far cry that has been from my last two Christmas’ and I was so thankful to have a happy home this year and to make new memories and new traditions. Even though grief is always hovering, there was a lot of joy too. But enjoying it made me feel guilty.

I’d hate to think that my best moments are behind me.  I have wonderful memories, but I know I’m not done making them. And so, I smile knowing that I can make good memories still, even some of my best, without comparing the life I had with Jeremy.

I’m glad Faith had the best Christmas ever.  And I think Jeremy is glad, too. 

***Please don't forget that for the month of December, all proceeds from this blog will be donated to Amy Lewis, who lost her husband Jim tragically just a couple of weeks ago. Each page impression makes a small amount, but if we all keep clicking, it will hopefully add up to something big. You can also donate more safely and securely at the top left corner of the page! THANKS***


folkisdead said...

I think it safe to say, this Christmas could not have been the best ever had it not been for Faith's father. Jeremy has made my life better since he passed... if I could take away the better in exchange for having Jer back, I'd do it in a second, but that doesn't detract from the present reality. I miss him, and I love him... and I grow more thankful for him each day. (this is Jared btw)

Anonymous said...

I just wish I could give you a hug. May you have a happy new year.

Gian Cucco said...

This was our first Christmas without Olivia.
With Anna-Maria being 7, Christmas is still full of magic and expectation.
So we decorated the house, prepared gifts and had a meal and time with grandparents. Even a Skype time with the nonni (grandparents) aunts, uncles and cousins in Italy.
In all of this we incorporated Mamma by keeping some traditions, hanging her stocking high up to the ceiling, visiting her grave at Mt. Avon on our way to other places and by always remembering our love for her and hers for us as she keeps good watch over us.
This is the way we invite Jesus in our life as we remember His coming into the world.
Olivia has the best time of all being with Him forever.

Gian Cucco.

Anonymous said...

Off topic. Wanting to know how we did clicking and raising money for Amy Lewis.


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