Blah, Blah, Blah, haven't posted in forever...blah, blah, blah...
Now that we got that out of the way...
Holy cow the year is almost over!! Christmas was...bitter and sweet, but not really bittersweet as the bitterness and sweetness didn't come together.
The sweet: My Grandma, Aunt and Uncle, and sis and her crew were all here over Christmas. We had a great time. D and the boys came over on Friday and stayed the night. (It's been crowded! We had people shoved everywhere, but it was fun!) Friday night my family and I gave our gifts to D and boys and I opened mine from D. (Awesome purple Pumas, some spicy chocolate, and the promise of a date night to a place he's been wanting to take me.) I got the boys bows and arrows I had purchased on Etsy, and Saturday morning we all went out in our PJs to play with them. So fun! We also did some fishing (though we caught nothing) and just general hanging out and playing. In the evening, we all went to a Christmas Eve service at my parents' church where N fell asleep in my lap, and S fell asleep on D's shoulder...guess we wore them out!) After service, we had dinner at Sonny's BBQ. D and boys went home that evening, and the rest of us went back to my house to watch Christmas in Connecticut.
Christmas morning, we all got up and got ready for church and had a big, yummy breakfast. My family all went to my parents' church, but I met up with D's family at another church in town. After church, I exchanged gifts with D's family and then headed home to open presents with my family.
Christmas evening we had a big dinner with lots of family. Some cousins that I don't get to see very often came over for a few hours, and it was great being able to catch up with them. D came back that evening after dropping the boys off at their mom's. He and I stayed up watching Firefly with my Sis and Bro-in-law after everyone else went to bed.
For the most part, it was a really nice Christmas...except...it wasn't...
About 4 months ago, we got the news that my mom's brother had cancer, and that even with treatment, he would probably only make it another 11 months. They tried treatment for a little while, but the cancer continued to spread, and he began to go downhill fast. Last monday my mom got the call for the family to come (My Uncle lived in Tennessee), so she and my dad drove up there early Tuesday morning. It looked like they might be gone for Christmas, and I was depressed about both my uncle's condition and the idea of my mom and dad not being here for Christmas. After a couple days, they decided that since my Aunt had her children with her and there was nothing they could do, they should just head home for Christmas. On Christmas Eve we got the call that he had passed away. I've never seen my mom hurting so badly. She keeps saying, "I just want to wake up from this bad dream." I'm going to miss my uncle. He's the one who used to live with us...back when I first started this blog. It's so hard to imagine him not being alive and well and full of fun. But as much as I hurt for me, my heart breaks a million times more for my mom who has lost her beloved big brother. The funeral was yesterday, and she and my dad are up there now. I know that my uncle is with the Lord, and that he is no longer in pain, but losing him will leave a huge hole in our family. I always expected that someday he would officiate my wedding as he did for my sister and so many of my cousins, and now he can't. I'll miss his crazy, amazing ability to do accents and his chocolate "medicine" and all the other little things that made up his wonderful personality.
Life is so hard and painful, and yet there is so much joy and happiness and love in it as well. I guess we have to take them all together. We don't have a choice about the pain...it comes without our consent. Strangely, it's the good that I think we have to choose...choose to be mindful of it and not allow ourselves to be lost in grief and sadness...choose to let it in...let ourselves love without fear. Maybe Christmas is a good reminder of that...Christ came in this sweet and precious way...a tiny baby to loving parents. Yet, that wasn't the end of the story. There was pain and hard work and love and friendship and a cruel death on a cross that, in the end, brings us life. We can't pick out pieces of it...it all goes together.
Anyway, if you are out there reading this, please say a prayer for comfort for my family. We sure could use it. And I hope that everyone had a very merry Christmas.