The holidays are a time to be with those you love. A time to laugh, reminisce about old memories, and create new ones that will be added to the collection. My family continues to do this, but with the realization that the group present has changed drastically over the past few years.
Now, there are empty seats at our table; not only my Dad’s, but also those of both of my Grandmothers. We lost all three of them in the last four years. Adjusting to their loss has been challenging on both sides of my family, who are intensely close. There is no division, only one group united in love.
Looking at a Thanksgiving turkey or a beautifully decorated Christmas tree still brings me joy, but it also makes me a bit sad knowing that some loved ones who would always play a hand in them aren’t here to make their usual contributions. There are songs and customs that lack something… someone.
It is never easy to lose a person that you love, someone who has played a pivotal part in your family, and therefore, a vital part in holiday traditions. Even as you carry on, it’s important to honor their memory by doing just that. Continue those things that they introduced you to; what a beautiful way to make their legacy last! Even though the framework may look a bit different at times, the meaning remains the same.
Do them with the same love and fervor that you did together. It will pass on to the next generation as well. Most of all, enjoy this special time with those you love; don’t forget those who are no longer there, but remember them with a grateful, joyful heart.