Skipping Christmas

It’s been 6 months since my Mother passed away.  I wish I could say the pain has subsided, but there is a fresh awareness of her absence with the changing of each season.  I gave serious consideration to announcing my plans of skipping the upcoming holidays.  After all, a holiday boycott certainly would lessen stress AND save money.  I just could not understand why when I mentioned this idea, no one seemed to support it.

My Mother loved this time of year so much, and I have a number of gifts she gave me to prove it. When I realized my skipping the upcoming season was never going to go over well with my family, I decided to ‘rip the band aid off quickly’ and get the fall décor out. Every fall decoration I pulled out yesterday was given to me by my Mother.  Everything I touched held a memory of her.  I missed her so much, it physically hurt.

Poor Darian walked in the kitchen as I stood there, mid-meltdown… pumpkin in one hand, spiced candle in the other.  He knew, without me saying a word, what I was feeling.  Then, in his wisdom, he just looked at me and said, “Getting all of this stuff out, this is exactly what your Mother would want you to do. She would be upset if you did anything less than what you have always done.”  Normally, I would debate my side of the situation at this point.  Instead, I just thought about how much my Mother LOVED Darian Byrd, and how I was pretty sure she experienced that moment in our kitchen with us yesterday.

Fall.  Thanksgiving.  Christmas.  Halloween.  Charlotte’s Birthday.  Darian’s Birthday.  Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pink Sunday, Race For the Cure, The one year anniversary of her last diagnosis.  The thinking back to where we were this time last year and feeling those feelings all over again.  It is too much for my heart to handle some days.

But. . .

In the quiet of the morning, when the house is still, and I can truly reflect on my life. . .  I am grateful.  I am grateful for the roof over my head.  I am grateful there is food in our pantry.  I am grateful for the 35 wonderful years I was given with the most amazing Mother on the planet.  I am grateful for all she taught me to value.  I am grateful for the memories of the fall seasons.  I am grateful for the tangible things she gave me; they’re like holding memories in your hand.  I am grateful for family and friends who let us know we are never alone.  And I am so very grateful for a Heavenly Father who continues to show His love to me even after I have doubted Him time after time.

I’ll end this post with words from my Mother to me on my 16th birthday.  I have been looking for this card for months now.  I finally found it!  This explains so much about who my Mother was and how she and my Daddy raised me.  I also love this because her handwriting is so very beautiful here.

Mother’s 16 birthday letter to me – May 25, 1992

My favorite line of the card. . .

“Your Dad and I are so thankful that you are not only our child, but that you’re a child of the Heavenly King, and because of your decision to accept Him as your Lord and Savior, we will all be together through eternity.”

Maybe she somehow knew I would need that comfort one day. . . . We will NOT skip the holidays.  We will enter them with an excitement that Judy King taught us how to do.  Things on earth will never be the same, but we have a hope.  This hope of seeing each other again will be what gets us through.

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