I'm sure nearly everyone is super pumped for Christmas! I know I am. I can't wait to see Sarah's reactions to all the traditions, foods, decorations, and fun. We've seen glimpses of her excitement about this season, but I know there is so much more waiting to bubble up out of her. She loves informing us about the "pree-bie ights" outside the window. She will yell out whatever color they happen to be, and if they are multicolored, then they are just pretty. I've also seen her admiration of the tree and all the goodies it has on it. Luckily, we've kept the gifts unwrapped and hidden out of the way. (No re-wrapping here, thank you!) And I cannot wait to see her face on Christmas morning when she sees the gifts waiting for her. (I also can't wait for Santa's gift of a new cube organizer for toys, so we finally have some type of order to things!!)
But then there is another side to Christmas, a not so happy side. Don't get me wrong, I love this holiday.I am so grateful that our Savior came down to us as a tiny baby! I love what Christmas means to me, what it means to the world, the giving (and receiving) of gifts, the food, the music, and the family. But it's that last one that makes it hard. A part of my family is and always will be missing during the best times. Kelsey was killed 4 1/2 years ago, but this year at Christmas, her loss has seemed especially poignant.
Maybe it's because I am a mom and I am truly able to understand the importance of family relationships for my kids. Maybe it's because I just have been feeling really lonely and fairly isolated lately and need someone to talk to. (Stay at home moms with two babies don't make friends as easily as care free college kids...) Who knows the reason for sure? I just know that I have been feeling the hole left behind by her a lot more lately. And while I know this Christmas will be absolutely wonderful and filled with happiness and joy, there will also be a bitter sweetness to it. Because it will be another day without my sister here to be in my life.
Sometimes it's so hard to be one of the "surviving" siblings. It's hard to go about normal everyday life because there's something inside you that makes you feel as though it's wrong to do so. It's hard to watch your parents suffer and know there's nothing you can do. It's also really hard to always feel like the second or third fiddle because you can't live up to your sister's memory. It's hard to always look like the strong one because you really want to try and have a "normal" life. It's hard to have people questioning how deep your loss/grief is because you don't show it the same way they do.
But I have my babies now, my blessings. It's not wrong of me to want to make life as normal for them as I can. So I am throwing myself into the cheer of this holiday! I went out and got stocking stuffers today and made enough sugar cookies to feed a small army(more on that later)! I decorated the whole apartment with touches of Christmas, even if it's just nice smelling soap. And deep down I am wishing for a white Christmas so I can witness it through my daughter's eyes!
But just keep all those who have lost someone (recently or not so recently) in your prayers as they tackle what should be ONLY happy times without someone they love!