It’s been nearly six years since my sister passed away. Stupid cancer. It was May when she passed, but I always miss her most this time of year. She loved Christmas. It was her thing. She would start emailing us in April how many shopping days til Christmas. At the same time it drove me crazy, it always made me laugh. And I always knew exactly how many days we had to shop and prepare. I miss those emails. I miss her like crazy.
I was relieved in a way to have two sick kiddos Christmas Eve. I wasn’t happy they were sick, trust me. They felt awful. But I was relieved to have a reason to not go to Christmas Eve service. It near breaks me every year, and the kids are old enough to notice their mom cries every single year during Silent Night. Not having to face that this year….it just gave me a break. But Lord how I miss her. I think of her when the house is quiet at night, the lights are bright on the tree, the scent and sight of glowing candles fills the air around me. It always seems I notice the time of 11:11 more around Christmas…that was one of her things too. And when I see it, I know she’s telling me something.
Grief is ever-evolving. You think you’re over losing someone, but you’re never “over it”. Never. You’ll be cruising along, and something will hit you, and you’re a bucket of tears all over again. Her last words to me were to just love my babies. When they’re driving me crazy, or have me stressed to the limits, I hear her voice in my head, and my capacity for patience expands. She taught me so much in her life, in her way of living, in the way she held the family together, in the way she loved. And I miss her most this time of year. Just 364 more shopping days til Christmas.