The holidays are a magical time.
It seems as if we get to do so much more with family friends. People tend to be a little nicer, give a little more. Everything seems a little more sparkly and pretty!
And me? I am the hostess. Especially ever since we expanded our family to include children, we always celebrate the holidays at our house. And I love it that way. I love cooking, baking, and decorating, welcoming a houseful of family and friends into our home. Even not around the holidays, I love to plan parties and have friends over. It makes my heart feel full to be surrounded by the people that I care about most.
But, every year, especially around the holidays, I am reminded someone is missing.
She passed away when I was only 8 years old. It seems to me like it was a lifetime ago. And really it has been. I have finished grade school, middle school, had my first kiss, learned to drive a car, graduated from highschool, graduated from college, got married, bought my first house, brought my first baby home from the hospital, brought my second baby home from the hospital, celebrated 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th birthdays of her grandchildren - all without her there.
I know she was there is spirit, but it just isn't the same. I can't hug her. I can't call her on the phone to tell her about the rotten day I am having with my kids, with her responding about some way I misbehaved as a child. I can't ask her for advice about my life.
Most days I am fine. Don't get me wrong. I think of her every. single. day. But the days that make me want to crawl back in bed because my heart is breaking from missing her so badly don't happen nearly as often. I suppose that is what happens after 24 years of her being gone.
But then there are those days where it just hits me like a speeding truck. Bam. Your mom is not here.
For example, at the dentist last week, he was asking me if I sucked my thumb when I was little. I told him I didn't know if I did or not. So he says to me, "I guess that is something you will have to ask your mom."
What a simple, logical thing for the dentist to say. But, for me, it made my heart break a little more. Because I can't ask her. I am sure he didn't think anything of it, but I have been thinking about that visit ever since it happened. And every holiday, as much as I am so filled with joy and love, it will always be a little bittersweet for me that my mom is not there.