But yet, it's also bittersweet. This day, one year ago, our brother-in-law, Jim, passed away suddenly from a heart attack. At 36. It was devastating news and left us all reeling. Our thoughts and prayers are with Craig's sister today. The first anniversary of a dear one's passing is tough. You can't just avoid it and not think about it, but thinking about it can open up the whole can of memories and sadness. Death is a weird thing for our human brains to totally wrap around. So today I have happiness and joy for Christmas and having all three kids under our roof for another year. But also tears as my brain remembers just how much has happened this past year. It's also our first Christmas without Craig's mom, Linda. It was weird not sending a Christmas card to her. Not buying her anything. Not going out to Red Robin or Red Lobster last week as we normally would have with her.
The holidays are wonderful, yes, but also tough for a lot of people. Some families have parents who've divorced and that adds a whole sticky and sometimes icky element. Many people remember and can't help but count how many Christmases this is without a loved one by their side.
So hug your friends and family. Love them. Accept them as they are. Be gentle with yourself and with others. Under smiles and joy there's often other things, too. Hidden tears or prayers that aren't exactly appropriate to air at casual holiday get togethers. Life is short, love much.
Merry Christmas dear ones~
Tonie Christine Photography