Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The First Christmas


We decorate for Christmas Monday night. Well, we did the outside lights Sunday and they are really simplistic, but I think you would like it. I know you would be proud of me getting into the Christmas spirit. Who would have thought this Grinch would one day have Christmas lights on the outside of her house? I want to get a Moravian Star like the one you always had on the front porch. It automatically makes me think of you. 

Anyway, we laid Landry down for bed and got to decorating Monday night. I know you have always been a fan on having everyone help with the decorating, but I wasn't about to attempt decorating with a wild toddler running around. Don't worry, we have a little fake tree in the basement set up just for her to decorate. We'll use some of the shatterproof ornaments you gave me. I remember the Christmas you gave me those ornaments. I was so annoyed. Why in the world would you give the girl that hates Christmas the giant set of Christmas ornaments? I was a jerk. You knew one day I would come around and those things would be useful. We've used them every year since we've been married. 

As we unpacked our ornaments I kept thinking about you. Seeing all the personalized ornaments you have gave me over the years. And then this past Christmas, each one of us getting our new and shiny Christmas ornaments. I love all of ours but especially Landry's. I remember you getting up the strength after chemo to go to pick out the ornaments. You facetimed me to show me the different options so that you were sure I would love them. You were going through hell but you still thought about me and my happiness. Some might think that is silly, but I think it just shows the kind of person you were. The amazing woman who cared more about others than herself. Me, being not nearly as selfless as you, wonders if there will ever be anyone to give me a personalized ornament again. You were always the person to do that kind of stuff for me. Thank you.

As we continued unpacking Christmas I found the book. I had forgotten about the gift you gave Landry last year. It was tucked away in storage after Christmas and tucked away in the back of my mind, "The First Christmas". It isn't just any book, it is a recordable book. You and Pawpaw recorded yourselves reading the Christmas story just for Landry. I knew as soon I opened it and heard your voice I would lose it, but I did it anyway. 

I know the book was a gift for Landry but it is something I will treasure more than you could imagine. I haven't heard your voice since April, since you spoke your last words to me "Don't cry". I'm sorry Nana but there has been a lot of crying over here. When you gave Landry this book did you know the next Christmas would be our first Christmas without you? Did you know Landry would not grow up with her Nana on the sidelines cheering her own? Whatever your reasoning for giving her that book thank you. 

Since Monday night I have opened that book and listened to the pages you recorded over and over again. Nana, I don't want to do this first Christmas without you. It shouldn't be like this. But know that I am constantly thinking of you. I see you everywhere this Christmas. In the ornaments you gave us, in the memories we have made. I think back to all those Christmases, the good, the bad, the silly... the scavenger hunts, your family's Christmases at Indian Grove Baptist Church, crying as a child begging you to go to all my Christmases with me, and to all the oranges, apples, and nuts in my stockings. 

I love you Nana and miss you more than you could ever know. I'll try to make the most of this first Christmas...

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