The Struggle is Real

Legacy, love and loss around the holidays

I thought this pic of my dad, me and my brother with painted faces was absolutely appropriate

I thought this pic of my dad, me and my brother with painted faces was absolutely appropriate

For me, this time of year is bittersweet. It’s a time of sadness because I lost my dad to cancer 9 years ago this Christmas Eve. It’s also a time for joy, because I am blessed with two beautiful boys, a darling husband, my wonderful mother (and best friend), my extended family and dear friends.

Around this time of year I get pretty introspective and really think about life. There are times where I really miss my dad, and have to admit it’s one of those years. It feels like it was only yesterday when he left us. There is a still a big gaping hole in my heart. I miss his boisterous laughter, big personality, his “isms”, his generosity and his all encompassing hugs which made me feel like everything was going to be OK.

I am sad when I think about how he missed my wedding, missed the birth of his two grand children (actually, 4, counting my adorable nephews) and missed those everyday moments of just being here on earth.

But I know he is in a better place.

What gives me comfort and peace is his legacy…the seeds that carry on. I only see slight resemblances or physical traits in my kids. But, when my 6 month old son squeezes my hand so tightly but lovingly…I remember. When I hear both my sons’ infectious laughter…I am reminded. I am sure as they grow up I will see the legacy even more. I know he would have been proud.

I know I am not the only one who finds the holidays a little difficult to swallow – and for those, it isn’t the most wonderful time of year.

But I can hear my dad saying right now – “Bozo (as in the clown) – snap out of it” And to this I say – you’re right. For your legacy, I can smile, I can laugh, I will give back and continue to, I will share your “isms” with my family and I will hug my children with so much love the same way you embraced me and my brother. Thank you.

And for anyone out there who feels a little empty like me, especially, this time of year when you too miss your loved ones, think of the legacy they have left for you, the life lessons, the good times – and try your best to forgive and forget about the bad. In just a short week it is a new year, and I wish you nothing but the best for 2016.

m and e at computersUrban Mommy Elisa adds:

Michelle is right. While most are holly jolly – and busy complaining about all of the cleaning/baking/last-minute shopping, it’s a great reminder to let that, too, be a joy. Make it about the loved ones still with you that you have to clean for, to cook for and to buy for. I’ve lost both of my parents and a nephew, and still find those empty spaces quite painful – quite pronounced at this time of year. So I do everything with a bit of extra effort, the gratefulness for what I have is not lost in the stress and effort of the season (though by 3am last night when I’d finally finished most of the cleaning and wrapping I may have had a few other choice things to add. Thank goodness for a husband who let me sleep in).

Thank you for letting us into your lives to share, have a most wonderful holiday

xoxox