... Christmas, that is.
I won't lie to you, the week before Christmas, I was not feeling great. The weight of another Christmas without Greg weighed heavily on my mind.
I missed him.
I know I miss him every day, but last week I really missed him.
I missed sitting on the couch and snuggling, watching the lights on the tree flicker.
I missed talking to him about everything.
I missed his strong arms.
I missed his safe embrace.
I missed seeing the kids play with him.
I even missed seeing him stuck under a piece of machinery, tinkering away for hours on end.
I was sad.
But then on Sunday, I received an e-mail from my friend that made me feel less alone.
On Monday, we went to stay the night with one of my oldest friends and her family. She is the friend that introduced Greg and I, 20 years ago. Greg was best man at their wedding. We drove to their resort-like house on the hill on the other side of the city and we swam in their pool and drank champagne while all of the children played. I walked through the bushland at their house and smelt the eucalyptus. We laughed and cried and it felt so wonderful to be there.
On Tuesday, I got a phone call from my friend who lives too far away from me. I haven't known him long, but it feels like we've known each other far longer. He is a widower with a school-aged child: we understand each other. Talking to him put me on a high for the rest of the day ..... to the point that when I took the children to church for the Christmas Eve service, I actually sang every carol. I sang the harmonies and the descants. I sang for the love of singing, if not from the love of the song itself. This is HUGE. This is the first time I have sung inside a church for the past 3 years and 9 months and 24 days.....
Christmas Day itself was so much better than I could have imagined last week. Of course I missed Greg like crazy, but for the first time since he died, I felt some of that old Christmas joy float in on the breeze. My children showered me with love and my darling parents came bearing food and gifts.
It was hot here (Australian Christmases usually are), but we feasted on cold meats and salads, enjoyed Mum's plum pudding and ended the day with a swim ....
.....and if you know me, you know that swimming is my path to instant happiness. I don't want to sound trite, but some of the most peaceful and surreal experiences I have ever had have been when I was floating on my back, staring up at the sky, remembering how much he loved me.
....and so I find myself on Boxing Day feeling the best I have since Greg died.
Last week, I couldn't envision any way that I would feel this calm, peaceful and even happy.
Again, love has saved the day.
Love never dies.