Empty

We survived our first Christmas without Travis.  All four of us had a few moments of tears.

On Christmas Eve I received a letter in the mail from a local granite company asking if I’d like to purchase a tombstone….. Talk about poor timing! On the 23rd, I recieve a text from the funeral home stating the death certificates arrived.  I eagerly picked them up and noticed they had the wrong date…. Another emotional mishap.  I always loved going to the mailbox during Christmas… Eagerly openly each card as if they were individual presents. This year, we were trying to guess if the card would be a sympathy card or a Christmas card.

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Our annual Christmas photo- first one without Travis
On Christmas Eve, All Christmas Eves in the past Travis, the children and I would head to my aunt and uncle’s home north of Grand Forks, we celebrate the holiday with over 70 relatives. It was a time to reconnect, a time to smile, a time to laugh. This year, I really didn’t want to go. But I knew it was important to keep the kids surrounded by family and by our  traditions.  We ate, waited for Santa and then came home. I immediately became tearful when i saw our children sitting on Santas lap. Even though they’re older, it flooded my mind of Christmases in the past.

The kids and I have been talking all week about attending Christmas mass. In the past we would all go to midnight mass. This year, we just don’t have the strength to go. I’m still very upset and very bitter. Not a day goes by I don’t wonder why God would take him from us. I don’t like thinking and feeling this way.  Maybe, someday the bitterness will lesson.

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In the past, Travis the kids and I would always open presents in our living room. This year we decided to open them with Travis ashes. It gave me a little peace and comfort knowing That a part of him is with us. I found the poem, “I’m spending Christmas in heaven this year”…The kids and I each took turns reading the story.  Once again my heart is heavy and tears flow.

After opening our presents, we watched the movie home alone. The girls went to bed early so Jacob and I finished the movie. After Jacob went upstairs, I  laid on the couch and wept holding Travis’s ashes.

Jacob woke me Christmas morning by opening the door to go to the skating rink. I decided it was time for me to have some fun with my children. Jacob was surprised to see me on skates. Travis’s Christmas tree out in our yard was radiant. The sky was bright. I decided that the kids and I would make snow angels By Travis tree.

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Our 4 snow angels by Travis tree
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Later in the morning my immediate family came by to share hot cocoa, Christmas goodies, and skate together.it warmed my heart to see the children smiling with their  cousins and laughing.  So many emotions flow to my brain and body. I could see Travis out on the ice teaching the little ones how to skate, how to make a hockey stop, how to make a slapshot, I could see him sitting at the kitchen table talking stories with my dad and brother In law and Brothers. I could hear him talking stories to My mother about the Christmas meal we would have later. It just isn’t fair. He supposed to be here with us.

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Samantha taking a break
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Jacob also taking a breather
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This moment warmed my heart–Samantha teaching Sydney how to skate and Jacob watching
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Pure laughter
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Jacob told Sydney to use the net to “hockey stop”
later in the day the children and I went to my sisters house to celebrate Christmas and have a deliciously  cooked meal. my emotions are numb, mostly empty. I feel guilty at times when I wanted to smile as i watched our children.  I wanted to break out in tears because of the anger I felt inside.

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Jacob learning to do a head stand
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Jacob challenged Sydney
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Rummikub with grandma Sharon
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I guess this is our new normal. Maybe this is what all holidays will feel like from now on? Empty—- with waves of emotion

 

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