Six years ago, we faced a smile-less Christmas.
Only a few months before, the rhythmic ordinary that was our family life had been forever lost and I began shepherding eight stunned and broken hearts through the pain and questions and agony of missing.
Those next months? It took every ounce of hope just to put feet on the floor each morning and every bit of mental space and physical stamina not only to process my own grief, but to handle the paperwork, finances, household, parenting, taxiing, decisions and all that had once been shouldered by two.
And now, Christmas was coming.
As much as I longed for a good Christmas for my kids, I couldn’t imagine pulling together any kind of real celebration.
Our life seemed so far removed, so out of step from the shopping and parties, baking and merrymaking that engaged the rest of the world.
Even our own Christmas traditions felt too tender this year. I knew we’d come back to them, but this first year we just needed something else altogether.
And yet, I wanted to be present with my kids. I needed to be present with my kids. I had toddlers and school-aged kids and teens and we needed to do more than just survive Christmas.