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Goodbye Christmas

Where have I been?  Well, there has been a lot that has happened in the full month since my last post, when Brooke achieved that milestone 1st birthday.  Just as our littlest one was turning one year old, in the beginning of her life, my grandpa Ron was ending his own life.  For a few weeks I was trying to wrap my head around what this absence in our family would mean to me and the family.  I was still very busy with work and studying and the so-many things that need to be done and purchased leading up to the holidays and being away for two weeks but it was during the quiet hours, a moment at work or always when I put Brooke down for bed, that I would think about my many wonderful memories of my grandpa and I’d cry.

It was more difficult this year for me to fill up with holiday cheer but I tried to do my best for the girls, still putting up some decorations although we didn’t get a tree this year for the first time ever, taking them to Christmas events at Volunteer Park to see Santa, and some walks to see lights and playing Christmas music and movies at home.  We left Seattle on Sunday 12/19 headed for Michigan as we had originally intended to do anyways and I spent those first few days also reflecting on my grandpa’s life and legacy.  Of course, having talks with my mom would leave us both in tears and we took Brooke over to my Grandma’s the first day home and that triggered it all again.  I have especially focused on what this loss means for my Grandma.  She’s lost her partner in life and thankfully she has a great circle of friends and family nearby but I still can’t even imagine…which is why I’ve told Bryan that I will be going first.

But with these episodes of feeling my emotions, each time was helping me to process the loss and helped me be able to organize my thoughts around my grandfather and I got to share my memories with him at his funeral on December 22nd.  This was something that I can remember clear as day thinking at my great grandmother’s funeral, seeing my grandpa give her eulogy, that there was never going to be a time that I would be strong enough to do this, but I am proud of myself that I did.  I think I needed to, I needed to share how much I loved this man and how great of a grandfather he truly was to his grandkids.  I felt like I did gain some closure from speaking and I hope that I said meaningful things for people to hear. 

The girls were on excellent behavior during the visitation the night before and the funeral and luncheon after and I know that was a lot for them to sit through and tolerate.  There were no other kids and a lot of adult time and they did so well.  Brooke even fell asleep on Bryan during the funeral service while Reese inched her way onto Grammy’s lap.  And for me, it was good to visit with friends and family I don’t get to see often, as brief as each visit was.  However, through the funeral and the Christmas Eve and Day events themselves, it pretty much sapped my energy for much else.

I have much more to report and will work on getting updated here with our actual Christmas celebration(s), our trip in Michigan, our rearranging of the kid’s new bedroom, and goals and aspirations for the New Year in time but I wanted to first remark on my grandfather’s passing.  It was a bittersweet Christmas for sure but one I will remember forever and he left as graceful and loved as he could have been.

Chelsea

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