When his health was failing he urged me to carry on our family's Christmas traditions. I'm sure my response was something along the lines of "obviously, dad" (more like "ooooobbbvvviioouusssslllyyy daaaad!!!" -complete with an eye roll, I'm sure). I didn't like him talking about life after his death. I didn't want to hear it. But I knew in my heart what I had to face. Last year as I shopped for his Christmas present, I had a sinking feeling that it would be his last. I paid for his gift with tears in my eyes.
This year my sisters and I plan on putting his tree up in his memory and decorating the basement as he would have done. It brings me comfort to know that we will be keeping the Christmas spirit alive in his honour. The truth, is that his essence is still here... and in a sense, he hasn't gone far. We will celebrate with him in spirit and although it's not quite the same, dad would have wanted the season to remain merry and bright. I can almost hear him whispering "Merry Christmas, sweetheart."
Merry Christmas, dad.
"and when the sun
descends the clouds,
the light of stars