I just put a batch of forgotten cookies in the oven. I remember the first time you made them. I think we were on Robert Street in Zachary. They are so good and light and crackly in your mouth. This year, I've decided to make goodies and share with some people in the neighborhood. I am trying to keep myself busy and my mind off the fact that this is yet another Christmas without you.
This year has been particularly more difficult than I was prepared for. Funny how the grief thing is still full of surprises three and half years later. You would think I'd be a professional by now, but nope. Not at all. I still choke back the tears in the line at Walmart from time to time.
We had our family get together this past Saturday. I thought it would be neat to do breakfast for dinner. You know how hard it is to please the finicky pallets in our family, so I thought that would be something everyone would enjoy. I planned on doing pancakes but forgot the dang mix. I made sausage pie but burnt the pie shell. I did bacon which luckily is hard to do wrong. And I made a new recipe of a smoked sausage hash brown casserole which was good but tasted like it was missing something. I was so aggravated by the time all the food was done (on the inside, of course... can't let anyone see me sweat) that I thought I'd cry. But all the food got eaten and there were no complaints, so I guess I was being a little hard on myself.
It was strange being there in your kitchen cooking by myself. I didn't know where anything was, and I had to wash everything I used since it was covered in dust. But I did it. I confiscated your stand mixer earlier this month so I could use it for the divinity. Wow what a difference it makes!!! Now I know why you wanted one so badly!
The house looks so different without your tree and little Christmas stuff everywhere. Last year, dad tried to do a little decorating, but this year the house definitely looks like a single man lives there. Which is fine. I am glad he's changed things around and made it his own, but sometimes I think it would be easier if he was in a different house, not the one where you lived. It's just even more obvious that you're gone now and that you're not coming back. I guess I could push that thought to the back of my mind for so long while things looked so much the same. But now, it's real. It's just so freaking real.
I used to think that the anger stage of grief was stupid, that I probably wouldn't deal with that much in my journey. But I'm there, mama. I'm there. I'm pissed off. My kids lost their grandmother. I lost my mama, my confidant, my soft place. And it makes me so very angry now. And I find myself walking around day to day with this anger inside, feeling like I could scream or punch someone in the face at any second, not knowing exactly what to do with it all. Where do I put my anger? If I were a runner (which we both KNOW I am not), I think I could pound it out on the pavement. I can't write it out me... writing makes me cry. I don't know. I need to find a good healthy outlet. Just not sure what it is yet.
I can't even put out my Nativity set you gave me this year. I don't even want to look at it. I have the spot cleared but it sits empty. I just can't do it. I don't know how long this part will last. I have absolutely no answers. None. Just get through this... just get through that. Seems to be my mantra lately. I know I will see it through to the other side, but I am just not enjoying this part of the trip.
Dad bought me an ornament this year. It's a beautiful glass ball with the pink ribbon inside complete with a little led light at the bottom. When you turn it on, it just glows. I cried when I put it on the tree. I never dreamed my daddy would be buying me a Christmas ornament at any point in my life, but here we are. And I know it was you whispering in his ear when he bought it. I know it.
I am starting something new this year... I've decided to start a box of ornaments for Madalyn. Each year, I will buy one or two that represent something she's either done or experienced in that calendar year. I found a beautiful glass ball with an owl painted on it. We went to the 4H camp during the spring and got to see owls in person, and owls always make us think about you, so it has a double meaning. And then I found a Santa on a four wheeler to represent her learning to ride her own four wheeler by herself. I still need to buy a little journal so that I can chronicle what I pick each year and why. I think it will be incredibly special for her once she's established a home of her own. And it will be fun for me to find things and write down special memories from each year. She's getting so big. Growing up so fast. I am sure this will be the last year she asks for anything to do with a doll for Christmas, so I am trying to relish in the last days of her girlhood. It's fleeting. I can sense it.
The weather outside is nasty. It will be a warm and wet Christmas, which is so unusual. There's a threat of bad weather today, and I do hope it doesn't get too bad anywhere. I hate to think of any families having to deal with tornadoes this close to Christmas. Just doesn't seem right. But a lot doesn't seem right these days.
I love you dearly, mama. So deeply and dearly, and miss you just the same. Merry Christmas in heaven from here.