I’ve been writing this post in my head for a while now, trying to get the words just right. But I’ve concluded that they won’t ever be “right” at all, regardless. It’s such a raw subject for some people in my life right now.
As Christmas draws nearer and nearer, I’ve been thinking about family traditions. How when things change, and people come and go in our lives, our traditions change as well, whether we like it or not.
The recent death of my husband’s beloved grandmother Betty has left a giant hole in the lives of many people. I haven’t written about her death yet, because to be perfectly honest, I just COULDN’T, if that makes any sense. The line from one of the Jay and Silent Bob movies about “sobbing like a little girl with a skinned knee” comes to mind. I’m tearing up now as I type these words. And as ridiculous as it may sound, I feel almost selfish in my grief because she wasn’t MY grandmother or MY mother. But I know in my heart that she saw me as one of her own, because she told me and treated me as such. She loved each of us with such a fierce love that only she could. Betty, a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, sister and dear friend will be missed and remembered every.single.day.
I was blessed to spend an afternoon with Betty this past summer, just the two of us (a rare event, as she was so often happily visiting with people just dropping by, or running off to help someone somewhere in the community–one of her passions). We were staying at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a family event, and I had taken the kids back there so that they could nap. Betty and I sat and chatted for nearly 5 hours. I will cherish that time forever.
There are so many people dealing with grief and loss this (and every) holiday season. It’s difficult to imagine going through the motions of the “usual” holiday traditions without those we love around. A young family in our community is struggling with the death of husband and father, Officer Tom Decker, who was killed in the line of duty just last week.
A dear friend of ours is remembering his mother today, as she passed away two years ago today due to cancer. Two fellow bloggers, Daddy Doin’ Work and Cubepiphany are dealing with the recent loss of their dear friend to cancer. Another blogger, Cappuccino Queen, is fighting her way back up after the tragic death of her toddler son. SO MANY LOVED ONES.
When it comes down to it, all I can think to do is to love the ones I’m with. Keeping up tradition or not, making new traditions, or bucking tradition altogether, we need to celebrate the lives of the people we lost, and hold on tight to the ones we’ve got.