The first year after the loss of a loved one is the most difficult…it is a year of “firsts”…the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas, the first birthday, without that person.
The first year after the loss of my mother we struggled to maintain family traditions…my sister and I tried our best to recreate the holidays that my mother loved so much…but without her there, they seemed lacking.
The next year was a little better…as we began to combine the best of my mother’s customs with some of our own…this was the year we added Blue cheese and bacon to the Thanksgiving mash potatoes and had Mimosas on Christmas morning.
This past year we were able to find humor in remembering things my mother did…her 4th of July themed tables and the jars of peanuts she put in our stockings. My sister and I can now laugh at each other as we are “becoming our mother”…I show up at her house with dessert and always bring holiday plates and napkins even though I know she has a stockpile of them from years past and she puts labels in the dishes on the Thanksgiving table so we know what to put where…and both of these things are exactly what my mother did.
I know that there are things that we will always do…things just like our mother did…but now the holidays are once again a time to celebrate as well as to remember.
This year as my family gets together…we will be embracing our old traditions and incorporating some new ones…there will be good food, family, and lots of laughter…as those are the things my mother loved best about the holidays!