Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Sucker Punches

This year has been a tough one for my family.  We lost my very loved Grandmother in February, and we lost my 32 year old cousin Anna to cancer in September (she left behind a husband and a 3 year old son, not to mention parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who loved her very much).  They both loved Christmas........and this will be our first one without them, both of them - a bit of a double whammy. 

I have been doing a pretty good job getting into the holiday spirit - buying gifts, wrapping, baking (although not nearly as much as I used to), laughing, having fun, being merry - but there are moments that blindside me, and reduce me to a puddle of tears.

Hubby and I were in the liquor store on Saturday, stocking up on wine for the holidays.  Every year for Christmas, I would get my grandma a bottle of Cognac (it lasts her the entire year!).  We were walking into the store and my eye caught a beautiful cut crystal bottle of cognac and before I could stop it, I thought "that's perfect, Grandma will love it!", BAM, out came the tears and that horrible feeling of loss I get every time I realize I will never see her again.   It's like being sucker punched in the stomach, the kind that knocks the wind out of you - and I never see them coming. 

While my the loss of my grandma is devastating, the loss of Anna has a whole other dimension to it - her beautiful 3 year old son.  He and Tommy are good buddies, and I work very hard not to break out into tears every time I see the little guy.  Last weekend, I was getting a little stocking stuffer type gift for my son, which I thought Anna's son would love as well.... again, before I could stop it, I thought "I'll have to give her a call and see if she wants me to pick one up for him".   BAM.  Sucker punch.  He doesn't have a mommy anymore.....

On Christmas Eve I will be hosting my family for dinner.  Everyone who is going to be in my house is rather delicate this year, and although I know tears are inevitable (and appropriate), I am trying to have as few sucker punches waiting as possible.  Don't buy grandma's favourite chocolates, put away the stuffed Santa grandma "re-gifted" to me, not realizing that my cousin Anna was the person who had given it to her, consider not doing the gag gift exchange they both loved so much (actually, I think they were the only ones who loved it..... but we're still doing it).  It's a losing battle, I guess I will just hope that the sucker punches aren't too hard, and that we all manage to laugh and have a good time with the family we still have - to celebrate the joy of the holiday - despite having the wind knocked out of us.

For those of you who have lost a loved one this year, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and that there aren't too many sucker punches.....

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