It is hard to believe that we are facing our fifth Christmas without Scott. Everyone talks about the first year being the hardest. And in a lot of ways it was the hardest. That first year I was numb and still in a place of disbelief. As each year passes and reality sets in, there is a different pain. Each year brings more and more changes, that just take us further away from what things were like when he was with us. I look at Jaelyn and realize that already a third of her life has been lived without her dad.
Change is overwhelming and never stops coming. Just in the last year we have said goodbye to a beloved pet and Jaelyn took a big step toward adulthood with the start of middle school. If I’m honest with myself, Jaelyn starting middle school comes with very visible changes in worrying about her appearance, an increase in confidence, friends becoming much more important to her, and looking much more like a young adult — she is growing up and “away” from me. Letting go is hard — whether it is in letting go and letting our kids become more independent or in letting go of a planned future that no longer exists in the same form. If I allow myself to dwell on all of these changes, I very quickly find myself feeling down and feeling anxious.
This year, more than ever - when I’m not “feeling” in the mood for Christmas, I need to keep my focus on the birth of Jesus and the real reason for Christmas. Christmas is a very real reminder that this world and this life are temporary, as are its difficulties and pains. Christmas is the hope of eternity with Christ and being reunited with loved ones. And it puts change in perspective. The change that God brought about with the birth of his son, the beginning of the greatest story ever told, is indescribably beautiful and priceless.
So, while I know that I will continue to miss Scott and have down times this Christmas, - and that is okay — I will also continue to remind myself of the truth and hope of Christmas.