Please forgive me for not posting for the last few days like I'd promised.
We traveled to visit Mark's family this year for Christmas, taking my Mom along with us.
It was a very different kind of Christmas, one with a great big hole in the middle.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel this year. We got through Thanksgiving pretty well so I thought I'd be good. But I really wasn't prepared for how much I'd miss my Dad on my favorite holiday of the year.
December is usually a crazy, joyful month for our family. Mark and I celebrate our wedding anniversary - this year was our 20th - Emma has her birthday and of course Christmas, the wonderful anniversary of Christ's birth. So, two major life events and a great holiday combined with skating, work and celebrations usually keep us moving pretty well. This year was no exception, but my Dad was missing from all of it.
Like I've said before, I wouldn't wish him back at all to suffer the effects of cancer. He's whole and healed in Heaven with Jesus now - how awesome for him! But I felt the loss of his presence so keenly, it hurt physically.
I'm indulging myself today with some pictures from Christmases past. There's no stamping on this post, but I needed to share and hope it helps heal my heart.
This was last Christmas - Mom, Emma and Dad. It's the last photo I have of the three of them together. Emma was the apple of his eye.
One that always makes me laugh is this one of my Dad trying to convince Emma to let him eat one of Santa's cookies. Santa couldn't possibly eat them all, he explains. You can see that Emma is not buying it at all.
When she was little, Dad used to sit with Emma and read to her or share popcorn or just watch tv. She used to love sitting with her Grandpa.
All of us at our Christmas table one year. I remember we had a heck of a time with the camera delay, but we finally managed to get this shot and I treasure it. Mark's Mom is on the far left.
Just a shot of my Dad last Christmas opening his gifts. He loved anything to do with WWII and this is a book that Mark found for him.
Emma got one of those jumbo pillows for Christmas one year and she and Dad were doing a bit of clowning around with it.
Christmas Eve meal after church. We always went to the same restaurant in Manassas for our dinner. And he always got the Prime Rib, his favorite.
I don't have many photos of me with my Mom and Dad and Emma. I'm usually manning the camera, so I treasure this one as well.
A different year at our Christmas Eve meal.
And Mom and Dad at our Christmas table.
You were missed this year Dad. There was a big empty spot at our table and a big hole in my heart.
I love you.