Sunday, 11 December 2016

A Celebration of Spirit

I love this old photo of my dad, my aunts and my uncle. My dad is the oldest one in blue. Look how serious they all look! I think that was typical of the times because you usually don't see such serious expressions in today's photos. It is a sharp contrast to the more recent picture of them all together in front of the tree at my aunt's where they are all smiling happily. My dad was usually smiling the widest in family photos. Nothing made him more proud than his family.

I am missing dad something fierce lately. He loved this time of year. He found so much joy in the simple things. He loved his trees- he had multiple! (I wonder where I get my obsessive love for my Christmas tree from!?) He loved to decorate. One of my favourite childhood memories is when we would spend the night at my grandma's at Christmas time and on our way home, dad would drive us all through the neighbourhood to look at the Christmas lights on all the houses. Family traditions were so important to him.

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
shall keep"



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