Monday, January 05, 2009

Christmas vacation is officialy over. The kids are back in school and we are back to our old routine. We made it through our first Christmas without John ok, although for me I think the days after Christmas were the hardest. There was so much to do to get ready for Christmas that it must have kept me distracted enough that I wasn't as sad as I was worried I was going to be.

Although Christmas Eve was very hard, we went to John's sister's house and it was very strange to be there celebrating Christmas without him. John's kids didn't show up, but that wasn't a surprise. I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that they don't wish to have a relationship with myself or my kids. It has been hard for me to get to this point but I am finally okay with that. When we got home it was also hard to do all of the Christmas Eve stuff that John and I used to do together. Putting out the Santa gifts by myself after the kids were all in bed was very hard and I broke down crying several times. When I finally went to bed I had a good cry and I think that helped me to get through Christmas Day.

We enjoyed a great day together, the kids opened their gifts and we had fun playing their new games. Although Caitlyn was a bit disappointed that the doll house that she asked Santa for came from me instead of from Santa. Santa brought her some nice toys but there really wasn't room in his sleigh for her doll house so I bought it for her instead. I tried to explain that Santa is my friend too and that I like to help him get her special gifts as well... she was still upset that Santa didn't bring it for her... disillusioned at 4... but I guess losing your daddy at such a young age will do that to you.

Despite that setback, the rest of the day was fun. I think my favorite memory of the day was seeing the excitement in Caitlyn's face when Anthony opened up the gifts that she had picked out and wrapped for him all by herself. She was bouncing up and down in her excitement to see his reaction to the great gifts she picked out which made me realize that giving truely is better than receiving.

New Years Eve was hard but the kids and I did our best to have a great time. Brittany went to a party with Josh but the rest of us stayed home and played games and watched movies. It was pretty much what we did last year, except for last year John was already so sick that he spent most of the evening in bed. I remember we moved the games into our bedroom so that he didn't miss out on the party and him and Caitlyn read books together and they both fell asleep before midnight inspite of all the noise the rest of us made playing Guitar Hero and Singing Star.

Besides remembering how sick he was I also remember it as the last time that we made love. Although he was sleeping when I finally went to bed his son called because he had been drinking and need a ride home. John drove him home about 3am and when he came back home we were both awake, we cuddled in bed and made love.... never imagining that it would be for the very last time.

So once again I get through the hard times with bitter sweet memories, so thankful for all of the wonderful memories of John but at the same time missing him so much that I have this unbearable ache deep inside. I know that my grief is getting better, I don't cry every day and I can think of him and talk about him without completely breaking down, but at the same time there are moments that hurt so much that I feel as if I am reliving the day he died again and again. I am dreading February 2nd, I am not ready for this first year of mourning to be done, I want to hold on to him and somehow it feels as if I will be letting him go once we reach that mark.

I do know that healing has taken place in many ways, the kids and I are pretty much used to life on our own, the empty spaces left by John's death and the distance from the stepkids are getting filled with new memories and new friendships. I find myself looking towards 2009 with hope that this year will be ok, there are many things to look forward to and I refuse to let my pain take over my life. Brittany will graduate in May, my uncle and grandmother are hoping to visit this year, there will soon be another spring and another summer and with that even more memories to be made.

You never know what life has in store for you but in reflecting back on 2008 I know that no matter what it brings I will have the strength and grace to handle whatever comes my way. At this point I guess I can't ask for more than that.

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