I really didn’t know what to expect from this Christmas. I wanted it to be as normal as possible but of course, it wasn’t. An important part of our family, Walter, husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend, pun master, was not here to celebrate with us this year. He loved Christmas and his sense of humor and childlike excitement made it fun. How were we ever to recapture that which was now lost to us?
Despite the melancholy memories of Christmas past that crossed our minds from time to time, we were able to be surrounded by love for each other. This year there were more hugs of reassurance, to remind us “we are still a family”. This year we added to our circle some new friends and acquaintances that felt like a new family. Rather than isolate ourselves, we tried to be inclusive. We felt the love and caring for one another.
We enjoyed the childlike excitement of our grandkids, ages 2 and 4 that was contagious and charming. We played Candyland and Shutes and Ladders, as well as the adult strategic games we have enjoyed in the past.
When the day was over and the giftwrap discarded, we discovered that we still had one more present to give. The day after Christmas, there was a piano dedication for our church in memory of my late husband and his family, who were charter members of the church. It was filled with wonderful hymns, a very practical and encouraging message by the pastor, and a special music by our son and pianist that summed up all that we had experienced that weekend.