Blessings to you, during this difficult time of year for many of us.
I've handled Christmas pretty well since Ian died. Partly as we'd not really developed/embedded traditions before he passed, partly because I have a very young child who I want to experience and have memories of the childhood magic and joy of the season.
So I bring you my Christmas Eve musing...
Some have a trophy wife; I have an ornamental husband*.
Ian actually hangs on our Christmas tree. Well, part of him, anyway.
He's up near the top (safer that way, with an active toddler and all).
At our Church's 2012 Christmas community event that we hold in early December, one of the stalls was run by the wife of a Minister from another parish. Her hobby is glasswork, making jewellery mostly.
But she also makes small amphora for placing a hope or wish in, written on a small piece of paper.
I saw them on her stall, and immediately my mind went to work about Ian’s ashes. I’d already had some preserved in a glass orb (or as our best man puts it, I’ve turned him into a paperweight), so I asked her if she thought placing some in the amphora would work. She thought so, and very, very kindly gave me one as a gift.
About a quarter teaspoon of ashes fit into the vial, and I sealed it with some candle wax.
And so John and I have a new tradition. For the last two Christmases, we've hung daddy on the Christmas tree. Ian's still a part of it all, watching over as our son grows in excitement around the season, and as gifts get placed and opened.
I like that.
*full credit for this line has to go to our Minister, and Ian would have absolutely cracked up at it.
Photo: the amphora with Ian's ashes hanging on our tree.