I’ve tried really hard to have some Christmas spirit . . .
I put up the tree, I decorated the house, I sent out Christmas cards, I put up lights outside, I bought presents . . .
But there’s something missing . . .
It’s my first Christmas without Dad . . .
My second Christmas without Prince Charming . . .
Yesterday morning seemed like any other day . . .
I got up early, I had a cup of coffee, I walked the dogs, I made bacon and French toast for breakfast . . .
I made deviled eggs and Magic Cookie Bars to take to Mom’s for the family dinner . . .
It seemed like any other family party day . . . but it wasn’t the same.
And it probably never will be the same ever again.
This picture was taken in 2011 . . . it was our first Christmas together in *cough* 33 *cough* years. Prince Charming and I went to see the lights at Clifton Mill. It was a wonderful evening full of fun and laughter . . . and hot chocolate to warm us up after we looked at everything.
Prince Charming helped a young couple by taking their picture in front of the lights and they returned the favor and took this picture of us. I loved it so much I have it framed and it sits on the buffet in the dining room here at The Little House.
Yesterday was the 4 year anniversary of our trip to Clifton Mill. For some reason Facebook kept posting this picture as a “On This Day” memory every time I logged on yesterday. While it’s a lovely picture of us and one of my favorites, for some reason it made me sad yesterday to keep seeing it pop up.
I’m really struggling with the “Second Christmas” stuff. I thought last year and the “First Christmas” stuff was bad and I thought I had a clue on how to handle this. Little did I know that the “Second Christmas” is even harder . . .
And Facebook thinks it’s helping but it’s not . . . not really . . .
I got a Christmas card from Mom today. Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal . . . except that Mom said that she wasn’t sure she was doing Christmas cards this year. This is her first Christmas without Dad and it’s been really difficult for her. It’s been really difficult for me because I know exactly what she’s going through and I can’t do anything to help her or to make the pain go away.
I try to help her. But even though I have an idea of what she’s going through . . . her grief is totally different than mine. Mom and Dad were married just three weeks shy of 62 years. Dad had been retired for almost 25 years and they had been together 24/7/365 for about 20 of those years. And then Mom took care of Dad during his last illness. So I tell her that it’s going to be okay (when we both know that’s not 100% true), that she still has us kids and her grandkids to fuss over (and that’s not the same as fussing over Dad), and I tell her that I understand and that she can call me anytime.
Yet I feel really helpless . . . probably the way she felt last year when I was having melt downs on a daily basis about facing Christmas without Prince Charming.
This is the card I got. Not a generic part of a package card . . . an honest to goodness, specially picked out just for me card. From the woman that said she wasn’t buying Christmas cards this year.
And this note was inside the card . . .
How can something so simple make me so happy and so sad at the same time? I’m happy that I’m helping her but sad about how I gained the knowledge to be able to help her.
Everyone told me that there were reasons I didn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t understand for how Prince Charming was taken away so tragically. Perhaps one of the reasons was so that I could help Mom when she needed it the most.
Living alone and having with a hearing impairment can be a little scary at times. I have hearing aids but I don’t generally wear them when I’m home at night. I figure that as long as the dogs are around, they will let me know if someone is at the front door or if something interesting is going on outside.
For the last day or so I’ve heard a noise every time I walked into the spare bedroom. It’s a metallic sound – not really a click and not quite a clank and not really loud – and it always seems to stop whenever I stop to try and figure out what the heck I’m hearing.
Is it the furnace? It is the wind making the windows rattle? Is the halogen light in the room going to blow up? Is Millie’s crate falling apart? Is the antique bed that belonged to Prince Charming’s Grandmother falling apart? Did I drop something behind the bookcase?
Since I can’t figure out what it is – and I can’t explain the noise well enough for someone else to come listen to it and figure it out – I decided to leave my hearing aids in and try to solve the mystery myself.
Remember that wonderful medal rack I bought for myself at the USAF Expo prior to the USAF 5k I did back in September? (Oh, yea, I bought a medal rack at the USAF Expo to display my medals! At the moment there are 14 medals on the rack.)
Ain’t it purty?! (The rack, not the wall behind the rack!)
Turns out the noise is the medals on the rack clanging together when I walk through the room.
Okay, so I’m laughing that the fact that 1) I have enough medals to fill up a medal rack and 2) medals for races that I didn’t think I wanted to do are making that much noise and have been driving me crazy all week!
Life here is certainly never boring!!
Over the weekend, I went to Cleveland to run the “A Christmas Story” House 5k. Yes, I know that running a race in Cleveland in December isn’t a very smart idea . . . but there’s a special reason why I had to do this race.
This is the last of the races that Prince Charming and I had planned to do together. We wanted to be part of the first annual race back in 2013, but registration was closed by the time we found out about it. In true Prince Charming style, he smiled at me with that twinkle in his eye and said “It’s okay, honey. We’ll do it next year.”
And “next year” was a mere 11 months after his death and three weeks before my first Christmas without him . . . and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. But I said quietly to myself “It’s okay. I’ll do it next year.”
On Friday afternoon, my bestie and I drove to Cleveland. We checked into our beautiful hotel, we had some excitement because George W. Bush was at an event at hotel we were staying in, and we had fun exploring the casino that is in the building that was the department store in the movie. We had dinner at the buffet at the casino and discovered that we really can’t eat as much as we used to!
Saturday morning all we had to do was get up, get dressed, and walk out the door of the hotel to the start line. There are advantages of staying at the host hotel!!
I swear I’ve never seen so many people in pink bunny suits in one place in all my life!!
It was a fun race. It wasn’t too cold. It was a bit cloudy but no rain during the race. And the finish line for the 5k was at the A Christmas Story House. I’m proud to say that I finished in a little over 43 minutes – somewhere near a personal best for me.
And yes it was a hard race for me emotionally. I remembered the trip that Prince Charming and I took to Cleveland for my 49th birthday. I remember visiting the A Christmas Story House . . . and I remembered his promise to run this race with me. Okay, he would have run and I would have walked and he would have to wait for me at the finish line.
I’m glad I kept the promise to do this race.
And I’m really excited that I’ve already signed up to do it again next year!!
Yes. Gnomie and I have been on adventures again.
This is the post I wanted to make Monday night but couldn’t because my internet was acting up. I’m a TWC customer and was affected by the power outages on Monday night.
Most of you know that Monday night is “date night” for me. Date night started when Prince Charming moved to Ohio four years ago. It was a chance for us to start the week off in a special way. We always went out to dinner and then did some small thing – usually some small errand that we needed to do. It was a sacred tradition. Unless we had some sort of work emergency or a family commitment, we always went on date night.
After Prince Charming passed away, I decided that I wanted to continue the tradition of doing something special on a Monday night. Prince Charming died on a Monday so finding a way to make Monday tolerable was very important to me.
This week, though, Date Night was a little different.
My youngest nephew was inducted into the National Honor Society. The induction ceremony was Monday night. There was no way I could miss this!!
The ceremony was boring and only lasted an hour . . . but it was cool to hear the speaker announce my nephew’s name and list his accomplishments. And he was so handsome all dressed up!!
The best part of the evening was the impromptu family party at the local McDonald’s to have ice cream.
Most certainly the best date night I’ve had in a very long time.