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Where Are You Christmas

Updated on September 24, 2015
Source

I'm Still Here

Here I am, up and wide awake at 5:30 AM in the morning. What to do when the thoughts in my mind are going round and round with Christmas just days away. I am left wondering, once again, what is Christmas all about? Of course I know it is all about the birth of the baby boy, Jesus. That is first and foremost what many of us strive to remember and celebrate.

But what about family? Christmas has always been a time of celebration, family get togethers, gift giving and gastronomic feasts. So, I find myself contemplating on this fifth upcoming Christmas without the love of my life, my husband, Craig. And, it is the second Christmas, for my sister and I, without our mom, for whom Christmas was a joy beyond compare. Of course there are other people in our family, who have passed through the years, and whom we miss. But for me these are the most recent wounds, and the hardest to bear. Let me say, without any insult to my mother at all, that losing my husband has been the worst thing for me. After all, that would not be too surprising. There is, if you agree, a pecking order in all of this. It is natural to lose your parents first and then your spouse. For me, it happened the other way around. Each holds a different place in my Christmas heart.

Me and Santa
Me and Santa | Source
Me and Mom
Me and Mom | Source

The Little Girl in Me

Even though it is not the order of my loss, it is the right order of my life. Christmas with mom, as I mentioned already, was always a major celebration. When I was very young, Christmas celebrations extended to the larger family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Of course, as we all got older everyone was more involved with their own individual families. But the memories are still there. And along with those memories come a whole barrage of circumstances that are in my head's memory box. Beautiful dolls are just one of those memories - all of them with handmade clothes by my mom. Not to mention the clothing she made for me, and my sister. Santa has a bundle of little girl and homemade dress, sitting right on his knee. How can I forget? Beautiful trees in later years, pretty funny looking ones in earlier years, but always tons of baking and decorating all around. These are the hallmarks of my memories of my mother, who was like a child herself at Christmas.

Our first Christmas together - December 1984
Our first Christmas together - December 1984 | Source

The Woman in Me

But Christmas began for me in a very different way back in 1984. This was the year I finally made it to a place in married life with a beautiful man, my husband Craig. We met at a time when we thought love had passed us by, both of us having been in very unsuccessful marriages before.

For twenty six years, Christmas seemed like every day! I was alive for the first time in so many years. We explored, we worked, we travelled, and we loved - oh did we love!! For this, I am eternally grateful. But when he passed away in September of 2010, I thought Christmas would never be the same again.



Wedding day - May 29, 1987
Wedding day - May 29, 1987 | Source

What I Have Learned

My loved ones are not lost. They are right here beside me. I believe this with all my heart. I have come to realize that God, in his wisdom, has granted each and every one of us the right to still connect with those who have gone before us. It is simple - remain open to the possibilities, and they will come. I see it every day in the beautiful signs that I began receiving from my husband, almost immediately after he passed. And I see it also in the signs I receive from my mother that she is not far away. Granted, I feel the signs more from my husband, but I believe that is what I call the "pecking order."

But even without this recognition, I see it every day in the memories of Christmases past with both of these important people. Decorating the tree, brings out keepsakes from my mother's trees over the years, and treasures from Craig's and my trees, past and present. One of my greatest treasures is a poem that Craig wrote for me those many years ago, when we were first getting together - A Christmas Wish For My First Love

Just this morning, as I lay in bed, trying to get back to sleep, Craig's voice was roaming through my head. "I love you Lynnie. I will always love you, and Christmas is still here."

Christmas is in my Heart with all of the memories of those who I have loved and still love.

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    • craiglyn profile image
      Author

      Lynda 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Jeanie for stopping by and reading. As usual you are a faithful and beautiful friend. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas too, with the love of your life. Hugs Lynda

    • profile image

      Jeanie Reid 2 years ago

      Loved your Christmas hub Lynda, heart warming , sad and happy.

      You are a very strong woman , but why not with all your beautiful memories and still having Craig in your life. There is no doubt he is truly your soul mate and your forever after.

      Beautifully written. Have a wonderful Christmas. Love Jeanie

    • craiglyn profile image
      Author

      Lynda 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Linda, and thank you for reading this Christmas Hub. Of course you know and understand all of this too. It is never the same, but we do move forward and Christmas is just one of those days that we have to work extra hard at getting through. Love and Light to you too. Lynda

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      Linda Scott 2 years ago

      Lynda, it is interesting too read your Christmas plans. I am glad that they will keep you busy. It's always difficult without your soul mate but it sounds as if you gather together as family which is as it should be. Please hold your precious memories in the forefront and have wonderful getogethers and have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful boxing day. Love, light and hugs always.

    • craiglyn profile image
      Author

      Lynda 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you MizBejabbers for stopping by and reading. Sorry for your losses also. And no, Christmas is never the same. We will be just 4 here on Christmas Day with my step-daughter, my sister and her hubby. But on Boxing Day the grandkids come with their boyfriend/girlfriend and their mother - so that gives us two days going. I am lucky in that I inherited more family with Craig's family and so even Christmas Eve, which was always an Italian tradition on my side, will this year be spent with his nieces - which will also be lovely. Somehow we all get through it. Merry Christmas to you and all good things for you. Lynda

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      What a beautiful tribute to your lost loved ones -- and to Christmases past. I am sorry for your loss. Christmas is not the same without our families. My parents are gone, and my sister committed suicide when she was 30. Our first Christmas without her was the only time I ever saw my strong unemotional father cry. Now my family numbers five here, and Christmas is just another day to us. I don't get depressed at Christmas, but I could do without it because I have a strong spiritual side and don't need a special day to remember Christ. Your memories are precious, so keep them close and safe. Voted up and beautiful

    • craiglyn profile image
      Author

      Lynda 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my hub. You are so right when you say that Christmas does not come in packages. Thank goodness for memories and keepsakes, and thank you for sharing your treasures too. Hugs - Lynda

    • mactavers profile image

      mactavers 2 years ago

      Your Hub is a testament to all that is special that doesn't come in packages. Yes our lost loved ones are still a big part of our Christmases. I have my mom's old Christmas cookie jar and I use her recipes. I lovingly set out my parents' nativity set, just a cheap one, purchased over the years at the five and ten cent store, but more precious to me every year. The most bedraggled ornament on our tree is a cat from our first married Christmas. My grandfather''s little chalkware Santa from 1900 is chipped, but a reminder of Christmas from his country home. In the middle of the crazy rush of shopping, baking, cards, and decorating, these are my reminders of what is the real spirit of Christmas.