Five and a half years later
There are days when I just want to disappear
To run away from everything
All the materialism of Christmas especially
Because no matter how hard I try
No matter how many lights are on the house
No matter how many ornaments are on the tree
No matter how many Christmas songs are played
So much is missing too...
I still feel like I want a free pass
To just disappear for the whole month of December
To go do something entirely different and adventurous and new
Something that would give my new family and I
Experiences and memories that would last our lifetime…
A month of not focusing on rushing around for gifts
or the many other stresses of the holidays
But on seeing things we’ve never seen before
And sharing the stories of it all with those we love when we return.
I guess since he died, things don’t matter to me
Not the way they did before.
And it's hard to get into that part of Christmas for me.
With a little girl to raise now,
I’m even more aware of celebrating experiences
Instead of things with her.
We can’t be somewhere new this year though.
We must be here.
So the best we can do is focus on experiences here
Making everyone’s presents instead of just buying it all
Making cookies and pies together
Going for winter hikes and and exploring new holiday things
We've never done here before.
I am acutely aware now of the importance of building memories.
Because I know one day, Mike and I will both be gone.
And all his daughter will have left of us are the memories.
I want her to have a heart so full of experiences of new things
and adventures and creativity and silly traditions and laughter and
love that it's impossible for her not to smile when she thinks of us,
even a decade after we are gone.
Losing my own parents makes this even more significant to me.
I guess in a way, loss is what has lead me to being more mindful
of creating deeper meaning with those I have left.