"Say what you have to say, and not what you ought."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Recap

As I write this I can hear the sound of snow blowers outside as neighbors work to clear several inches of snow that fell today. There was a skiff of new snow yesterday, so the bulk of our White Christmas came a day late. 

I'm ignoring my walks and driveway that need to be shoveled, because in my mind I'm already on vacation. Tomorrow we're headed to San Diego for some R&R, warmth and fun in the sun. I can't wait! A few months back we decided that this year we'd take a trip and make some memories together instead of spending money on unneeded, frivolous Christmas gifts. It made for such a stress-free holiday. I also kept my Christmas decorating to a minimum, and shopping for small, inexpensive gifts made the experience fun.

Of course, from this picture of Gillian's Christmas haul, you wouldn't know it was supposed to have been a "light" Christmas for her. She always seems to get spoiled on Christmas! 
Here are some more pictures from yesterday. We had a relaxing morning with Isaac, Gillian and the dogs, who were never far from the action.
Mike full of excitement and ready to cook breakfast.
Gillian's new prized possession: a One Direction toothbrush
(One Direction is THE boy band of the moment).
Sophie supervised all the unwrapping.
Another Buddha for Mike's collection.
Isaac loving on Sophie.
The kiddos, opening presents.

This year I tried to very consciously focus on spending time doing what would bring me the most pleasure. For me, the most important part of the holidays is relaxing with family and friends. I was able to do this, and had several enjoyable visits with people I love and cherish. 

The holidays now also bring reminders of Julie. There isn't a moment that goes by that she isn't missed, or in the words of Edna St. Vincent Millay, "the presence of that absence is everywhere." I think these two posts, left on Christmas night by my mom and Amy on Julie's still active Facebook wall say it best. 

Another Christmas without you. Not going to lie, it sucked, but we are all continuing to put one foot in front of the other. You would have loved seeing the kids with Mr. Boston and Hannah relishing all her Taylor Swift loot.

I continue to struggle to find the meaning behind the loss of you. Our family has changed a lot since then. My hope is that the why is yet to be revealed.

I sat in church yesterday(quit laughing, it's true) and they talked about the darkness. I've never been in the darkness so long as I have since losing you. Oh Jules, I love you!!! And thank you for those stupid slippers you gave me. I hated them then, I cherish them now. 

What Amy said...

We never talked about it, but all I could think of was how much you missed out on by leaving us so soon. You never got to see Hannah become the beautiful, tall, blonde beauty that she is becoming. You would have loved seeing her with her perfume, her nail stuff, and with Boston. You don't even know Boston.

You didn't get to see the handsome, caring, supportive, gift-wrapping guy that Mason is becoming. You didn't get to see him becoming a young teenager.

Then, there are the others: Parker, Gillian, Regan, Bridger, and Atticus. They weren't with us this year, but you missed seeing the young people they are becoming.

We did go to church. We know darkness now in a new way. I also know the Light that has led me to begin to heal as best I can. I trust you are with Him this year.

I didn't go to the cemetery because as Amy reminded me, you hated Christmas. I like to think you would have liked this one. I know we would have loved it if you would have been here.

I love you and miss you so much.


  1. I wish I could hug the pain away from you and your family; if I could, I would do that.
    The quotation, "the presence of that absence is everywhere" says it completely.

  2. Hi, Keicha, I suspect by now you are feeling the warmth of San Diego. But that warmth started up there in snowy Ogden as you gathered with your family and shared the joy of the season. And yes, there will always be a hole. That quote is so perfect. In every day and every way Julie will be with you. What your mom said about the light leading her to heal the best she can? We should all have that. I hope you are finding it too.


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