It'll be our first ever Christmas without Dad this year.
For weeks since this fact began to sink in, I've been dreading this day. Not because it's totally lost its value (I still get excited every time my kids, especially Sabine, talk about receiving Santa's gifts this year), but because I'm at a loss about how to celebrate my favorite time of the year without one of my favorite people around.
I was afraid of being judged at first, but I went ahead with not putting up a tree this year. The most I did was to put up our outdoor lights and our parol (Christmas lantern) and that's about it. My kids didn't question, they understand that this year has been tough on all of us. I promised them it will not be the same next year. I know because I believe time heals ... maybe not completely, but it does, in installments.
I'm not going to deny it. I don't know what it's going to feel like on Christmas Eve. I'm starting to feel anxious about it. Dinner and then mass without Daddy? I'm not sure what that's going to be like.
Our family has decided to skip doing it the same way we did all these years on Christmas Eve. We can't go back to that all-familiar place where we've been spending the night before Christmas with Dad. No, we don't intend to forget how much fun it's always been. It's just too painful still. As the years go by, I'm hoping the pain of missing him will diminish. This year though, my family will have to do things the way we feel is best for all of us.
We're not the only ones, I know. One of my best girlfriends lost her Dad 6 days before I lost mine. There are others still. I can only pray that each of our families makes it through somehow, despite the struggle of celebrating a truly joyous occasion with much sadness in our hearts.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, DADDY...
The kids' Christmases will never be the same without you but I promise to keep your memory alive, especially on occasions such as this.
And as this Christmas song goes ...
But I can dream and in my dream, I'm Christmas-ing with you
I've just one wish on this Christmas Eve, I wish I were with you