It doesn’t seem possible. 4 Christmas holidays without Jay. As I sit typing this blog I am listening to Christmas music…and enjoying it. If you would have told me 4 years ago I would be where I am today I would have cried and said you were out of your mind. And yet here I am.
The remember the first Christmas, it was so difficult. My family had asked how I wanted to celebrate. I told them I didn’t want to be at my house and I didn’t want to be at their house. So, we went to a hotel with a water park. Looking back now, I don’t remember much of it to be honest. I slept a lot. Looking back, I become very aware of how lucky I am to have the family I do. My parents, brother and sister-in-law took Aaron swimming and played with him. I was exhausted. I wish I could tell you the memories of that first holiday have faded. Truth is, if I allow myself, they come back crystal clear.
After surviving the first, I thought the second would be much easier. I was a year and a half into this journey without Jay. I had moved forward through so many tough conversations, situations and emotions. But I can remember thinking, this doesn’t get easy, just a little more livable. I bought Christmas gifts for everyone in my life. I expected and wanted nothing in return. I wanted to make others holiday happy. If mine wasn’t the way I envisioned it, I wanted to make others the way they envisioned it and more.
The third year brought a whole new set of emotions. I had started dating and was starting to feel “normal” again. This should make the holidays much easier right? In many ways it did, but there was still difficult emotions to navigate. Guilt and fear being two big emotions to navigate. Did I deserve to feel normal again? Was I suppose to feel normal again?
Year 4, where I am now. There are moments I still feel like I’ve been a real scrooge the last 3 years. By age 4, most kids have visited Santa. This year was the first time I took Aaron to see Santa. And from the picture below you can see how it went. Maybe that is how I have felt about Christmas as well.
Year 4, Aaron is finally understanding who Santa Claus is and what Christmas is all about. He learned the Santa says “Ho Ho Ho!” We put the tree up and for the first time he called it the Christmas tree. A year with Kelby has been good for him. A year with Kelby has been good for me. I still have this feeling of not wanting any gifts for me. I have slowed down on the amount I get for friends, but when asked what I want for Christmas my response is either “world peace” or “for all pain and suffering to cease in this world.” Joking aside, this really is my Christmas wish.
Year 4 will be yet another adventure as we do something completely different. It will fun and exciting. And all said and done, I will be with the most important people in my life. And although life is amazing and beautiful, the holiday is still difficult at some level. I now enjoy Christmas music. Aaron has met Santa. Who knows what next Christmas will bring.
Year 4, here we go.