The holidays are here again. It’s always hard around the holidays when you’ve lost a loved one. The holidays are never the same.

I struggle to be happy and cheerful at the holidays because I feel pain for my loss. I struggle to know what to do. What are my family traditions? Why are they important? What do you want to do for the holidays? What do you not want to do? I have struggled to answer these questions for the past three years. I have not felt like celebrating but this year as the fog lifts things are becoming clearer. I want to honor my mom and carry on with the way things were when she was alive as Christmas was her favorite holiday. She was like a kid in a candy store when it came to Christmas.

When I was a kid we had so many lights on our Christmas tree and our house that you needed sunglasses to look at them. We had Santa Clause and 9 (four foot tall) elves that graced our yard and candy canes that lined the driveway. All of these items were hand made by my mother. She was pretty handy with a jigsaw and some paint, although she never considered herself creative next to me. I wish she would have known just how wonderful and creative she was. Her love of Christmas brought joy to so many faces. Our street would be lined with cars looking at the Christmas decorations every year. Each car was filled with families that were amazed by the lights. The hard work was always worth it to her so she and everyone else who drove by could enjoy it.

Thank you mom for showing me joy. I miss you this holiday and every day since you passed.

I wish everyone the happiest holiday they can have!