Last Monday of the Decade

Hi and Happy last Monday of the decade.  It is amazing to think that in a few days we will be starting a new year.  And a new decade.  2019 is almost finished and it is time for 2020 — almost.

It is odd that my love never saw this year that is almost finished.  It was a hard one for us with all of the firsts that we lived through after his death.  The fact he wasn’t here for any of 2019 is still hard to swallow, but we are trying.

2020 will have some major milestones for several family members, will be the year that Ian becomes a teenager (wow!), and will include more healing for us and many seconds.  Our life seems to be with Kirk and without Kirk. I am not sure how long that segmenting lasts but we are still in it.

I plan to write more in January and the rest of 2020.  Many months this year, I just couldn’t.  But as time has gone on, I have found it comforting and easier to share my feelings, my hurts, and those things that I am thankful for.  And, since this is just the second writing this month, I realize that I need to do more.

Over the Christmas week, I found a lot of quotes that I plan to write about in January.  I am inspired by these and thought it might be fun to share a few of my ideas about the meanings.  Ideas from you are also welcome.

A few quotes that come to mind as we celebrate this next to last day of this year and this decade:

  • “Don’t pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love,” — Dumbledore says to Harry in the last book of that great series
  • “Raise a glass to freedom something they can never take away.” — from Hamilton
  • “Security is a mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller
  • “It’s not whether you get knocked down, but whether you get up.” — Vince Lombardi
  • “You are never to old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.” — C.S. Lewis
  • “It’s never to late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot”
  • “Life is about change, sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s beautiful, but most of the time it’s both.” — Kristen Kreuk

May you have a great end of the year and a wonderful beginning of the new year. Blessings to you and yours. 

It’s (Almost) Christmas Time In The City

Or town as the case may be. That is our case since we live in a small city or town.  It does look like Christmas and is that time of year.  It is amazing that Christmas is one week from today.  Are you ready?  I am not but almost.

Yesterday, I bought a few more gifts and took care of a few errands.  Tomorrow, I will mail our cards and a package or two. They are late but at least they are almost finished.  Tonight, we have an Advent supper and service at church. Those are always nice and a great way to prepare for the big day next week and to remember what it is all about.

I still need to wrap everything, get our stuff ready, and buy a few more gifts. And we are waiting for a few items to be mailed that we ordered for special gifts. Just hope they arrive in time.  We are getting close.  And, there is still a small amount of homework and a few items of work and projects that I am trying to finish.

But along with all of the activity and commitments, we are having down time.  We need time to rest so that has to be a part of it.  At times this makes me feel lazy and feel that I am not doing enough.  I am trying to give myself permission to take it easy when I need to.  And at other times, be quite busy.  That balancing act can be a real challenge.

I continue to be a work in progress.  I feel I am failing at some things that haven’t gone as I had planned over the last year.  In other areas, I feel that we are on track.  My priority has been the two of us and our sanity and trying to stay on track with school and work.  Beyond that, I try to my best but often fall short.

This is our second Christmas without Kirk.  Part of me feels festive but part of me is lost and sad that he again isn’t here to celebrate with us.  Last year, I was still very numb and in disbelief of his loss.  This year, I more clearly feel the loss and will miss him and all of the fun that we had over our 20 years together.  I will miss our traditions that he always made a lot of fun.

I am looking forward to having time with our loved ones, to seeing Ian’s excitement over the gifts, the food, and time to relax and not have our busy routine for a few weeks.  I am taking several days off to be with him.  I am so looking forward to that.  We plan to see the new Star Wars movie, have time with friends and family, and maybe play a game or two.  We will spend days in our pajamas and laugh about something funny that we have heard about or watched on a show.

And, we will take pictures — that is if I remember to this time.  We also will continue to talk about his dad, laugh about jokes that he liked to tell, look at pictures of the three of us and him with other family and friends, and remember how blessed we were to have him in our lives.  Kirk loved being a dad and was very proud of his son.  And, I know that he loved me and that means the world.

Some of the seasonal things we are already enjoying are:

  • Special Christmas music by our choir – we did 5 songs this past Sunday — my family came to sing with us and that was an amazing blessing.
  • Advent calendars that are opened each day – one from church with scriptures and candy and the other a Lego Harry Potter set — this has been fun each day for Ian and for me.
  • Christmas movies and shows – we have seen a few of these on the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime Network — but want something other than just a love story.
  • Our city’s Christmas parade – we watched that with our neighbors and received a lot of candy from those in the parade.
  • Hot chocolate and candy canes — two of my favorites chocolate and mint; also hot chocolate is great to enjoy with popcorn.
  • “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” by Andy Williams — this is my favorite holiday song performed by one of my all-time favorite singers.
  • Silent Night, Holy Night – a favorite hymn that I enjoy singing.  I have a pin that states, “All Is Calm, All is Bright” that I like to wear this time of year.
  • “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band-Aid — a song released in 1984 to raise money for several causes.  It is a bit sad but lovely.  And, it touches on the suffering and pain that people are dealing with, regardless of the time of year.
  • “Mary, Did You Know?” – a very moving song that our choir sings on occasion.
  • The “White Christmas” movie — my favorite movie for Christmas with great songs, a fun story and a lot of funny moments.  I usually sing along with every song.
  • “Elf” the movie — one of the funniest Christmas movies.
  • Rudolph and Frosty — two childhood favorites that I still enjoy watching each year.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas — I just love the Peanuts gang and all of their quirks. and unique personalities.  And you just have to love that little old tree and the real meaning of Christmas.

We hope that you have a great Christmas, have time with your loved ones, and can truly enjoy the meaning of the season.

May you have love, peace, kindness, and respect in your life and may you be blessed.

Jesus is the Reason For The Season.  Merry almost Christmas!!!!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…

Christmas.  It is certainly looking a lot like Christmas.  Decorations are up at stores, gifts are being purchased, music is on the radio including my favorite, Andy Williams — Happy Holidays and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year — and movies are playing often and have been since before Halloween.

However, it doesn’t quite look like it at our house.  How about at your house?  It is amazing that we are two weeks from this holiday.  I don’t know about you but I am so not ready and the crazy thing is that I am not panicked or worried about it. I am doing a little bit at a time and hope I get there in time.

I seem to be more interested in being with my loved ones, rather than thinking through the gifts, cards, food, etc.  So far, I am not very worked up about being so behind.  I wonder if that will change as the date gets closer.  After all in the last year, just functioning and getting out of the house on some days was a major effort.

We do have our advent calendars up, some festive mugs, and a few other things, but not the tree yet (these photos are from previous years).  Last year, the tree was up but we never decorated it.  I just couldn’t bring myself to after losing my husband.  This year, Ian wants to decorate it and continue our traditions that didn’t happen last year.  So, we will work on it this week.

Both of us are wanting to do our traditions again this year and that feels good.  Our church recently presented a children’s program that was a lot of fun and Ian enjoyed it.  Then lunch afterwards and a visit from Santa.  A nice tradition that we have enjoyed for quite a while.

Over the weekend, I was thinking about writing about something other than just my grief and that felt good and at the same time, very strange.  Even though I am writing about a few other subjects, it is still there and still here in this blog.

I am starting to feel more like myself again. Part of me feels guilty about that but I realize that I have to keep moving forward. My son needs me and I most certainly need him.

Although I feel like myself again, part of me is missing.  Loss and grief are tough that way.  I am healing but know that I will never be the same.  I have learned a lot about myself, my loved ones, and what is most important.  Those who have also lost loved ones can relate.

I also know that there is much to be thankful for and much to live for.  Yet, some days, that is hard to remember and hard to accept. The grief and pain often finds a way to seep into the day, into our thoughts, and into what we are doing. The ups and downs continue and seem to be the new normal.

So, I decided it might be fun to share some random thoughts and items about myself. They may be trivial but I am okay with that and welcome it.  Enjoy.

  • Fuzzy socks make me happy and are things that I regularly wear at this time of year. I am normally a flip-flop person but with the colder weather, I do have to wear flat shoes and my socks. The softer and fluffier the better for me.  I am not a high-heeled person.
  • For my birthday, my cousin gave me a lovely plush blanket. It is soft and wonderful to sit under. Perfect for this time of year. I have it while reading a book, watching television, and taking a nap.
  • Peppermint, mint chocolate, pumpkin, and gingerbread are some of my favorite flavors this time of year. I am trying to be careful to not overdo it but do enjoy a candy cane or two most days.
  • Soups with bread or crackers are a regular staple at this time of year.  I like a variety of them — tomato, chicken and rice, lentil, and more, and enjoy using large mugs for them.
  • Pictures of my family and friends are some of my greatest treasures.  I like to give them as gifts. A special memory means a lot to people.
  • Comfort is very important to me and these things are helping to have that.  During the winter, there is not much better than a warm drink, my warm socks, warm blanket, a tasty food or treat, and a favorite movie, book, or chat with Ian or another loved one. Perhaps the occasional glass of wine is also nice and sparkling water.
  • I do like all of this warmth, unless I am having a hot flash and then it is a different story.  Ha, ha, ha!!  I am after all of a certain age.
  • Simple things are what make me happy and I need down time and time to rest and just be.  Ian and I both are homebodies and enjoy being there. We do also enjoy being with our loved ones and having overnight visits and special times with them.
  • Music is also important to me. I have many favorite Christmas songs and other special music that I always want to listen to each year. Hymns and songs at our church are also very special. I often will sing along with the radio and enjoy them very much.
  • My thoughts and prayers are with our family and friends.  We want the best for them, want them to be healthy, to heal if hurting, and to know they are loved and appreciated.
  • And finally, I do want peace on earth, really I do. I want us to be kinder to each other, to talk not yell, to listen without judgement, to love not hate, and to live peacefully together.  And to treat one another with kindness.

Blessings to you and yours.