It’s been nearly three years now since our last, wonderful Christmas together. The best of the best, as you called it. This year, the whole family will be together again. But without you. It’s going to bring back a lot of memories. It’s going to be wonderful and festive and joyful. And there’s going to be a huge hole. A hole you would have filled with your presence, your love, your calm and nurturing spirit. My sisters and I will try to fill the gaps…Dad will too…but we know that it’s not the same.
When we open our Christmas crackers and wear our silly hats, we will think of you and we will say, “Mom would have laughed so much”. When the grandchildren play, and giggle and even when they bicker, we will think of you and we will whisper, “Mom would have loved this so much”. When the newest member of the family celebrates his first birthday a few days later, we will think of you and we will know, “Mom would have loved him so much”.
Oh Mom, I want you to be here so much. For Dad, for your grandchildren, for us girls, for me. But most of all, I wish you could still be here for you. Because you loved everything and everyone in your life so much. With such a pure generosity of spirit. I know you would have loved this Christmas season very, very much too.
And Mom…so much has changed in my life, and I want to tell you about it! During your last days, I was going through what ended up being one of the worst periods of my life. I look back now with regret and fear that you might have been — during those last painful days and weeks — worried about me. About how I would cope. About what would happen to me. And I just wish so much that I could tell you about it. About how my life’s wheel has turned full circle and I now find myself back up on top again.
I wish I could tell you how your fight with cancer brought me the biggest reality check EVER, and how I took those tough, tough lessons to heart. I wish I could tell you that I vowed, after you died, never to waste another year, month, day or hour of my life. How I fought bitterly and bravely for what I wanted and needed in my life, and how I won that struggle.
I wish I could tell you that I’m back teaching, and that I love every last stressful, joyful and busy second of it. That I work with a wonderful group of dedicated people whose company I enjoy immensely. How I find such satisfaction and humour in the little children whose minds are entrusted to me every day.
I wish I could tell you that my girls are doing so well now. So brave, so strong, so smart! They are growing up well, and happy. They still miss you a lot, but they (and I) have learned to go on. They (and I) know that the best way to honour your memory is to carry on and have a good life. A happy life.
I wish I could tell you that that is exactly what I have now. A good life — a happy life. Because I know you would be happy to hear it. I wish, wish, wish so badly that you could be here again, even if only so that I could let you know…I am okay. I am better than okay. I made it through.
Ahh, Mom. If only…if only. I love you.