The holidays are approaching. It’s always been my favorite time of the year. I listen to Christmas music early, think about what gifts to get others and the wonderful traditions. It’s always been magical to me, not materialistic. I’m just like everyone else that believes retail stores putting out Christmas decorations in September is absolutely ridiculous. It rips away the excitement of cramming in holiday fun within a month’s time.

So, as I listened to the smooth sounds of Nat King Cole singing The Christmas song, memories flooded through my mind. I sat thinking about Thanksgiving approaching within the next couple weeks. My grandfather invited us over for Thanksgiving, which sparked the thoughts of my grandmother Rudy. She had unexpectedly passed away on February 7th, 2014. Tears started to roll down my face. I miss her. This will be another year during the holidays where my grandmother isn’t going to be with us. Life was always hectic, so holidays were practically the only times that I got to see her. It makes me miss her laugh, her bright red hair, and her wonderful smile. She was always so compassionate, optimistic and caring. The last time I saw her was over a big dinner with the whole family at a local Japanese restaurant. It was a few days after Christmas, I guess we were all turkeyed out. All of us surrounding the hibachi grills, my family driving me crazy. I could remember the anxiety and how much I wanted to leave. What I also remember was that I couldn’t wait to talk to Rudy and to give her a big hug. I wish that I had appreciated that moment a lot better. I never realized that would be the last time that I would see her.

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It’s interesting how Christmas time can bring so much joy, but also so much heartache. It often makes you think about the wonderful memories you can make and spending time with friends and family. It also makes you mourn those who we’ve lost and can’t spend the holidays with anymore.

This is why I make the best of my holidays now. This is why I want my son to spend as much time with his grandparents. I want him to create memories, enjoy the many hugs, to appreciate their love and care for him. The holidays are a great time to set aside any differences and bring joy to one another. It is also a time to light a candle and remember those who have passed that would have loved to enjoy the holidays beside us. Not to keep an open wound, but to make them a part of us during the holidays by the magic of Christmas. For me, this is not a time to mourn, but a time to simply remember.

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Written by J. Marie

Mom of three boys. Assistant Manager - Meris Gardens Bed & Breakfast . Blogger . Photographer . Marketing Director . Custom Art . Part-Time Student . Pursuing career in Mental Health Services

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