There is no shortage of rituals that began around here after my mom died last year. There is The Bracelet, which I filled you in on before. There is the fact that I keep Yankee in business by having this bizarre need to burn a candle whenever I am home for longer than a millisecond. That I call my doctor every 3 months and beg for more sleeping pills because my brain can’t seem to shut off without them. Yes, I am admitting I am a drug addict.
And then comes Christmas. This one is tough for me. Tough because I love this season so much and swoon whenever I see red and green, but…BUT…but…last year I sort of fell apart. It wasn’t pretty. There was a lot of runny mascara, crumpled kleenex and a very baffled husband who had no idea what to do to abate the pain.
I don’t have answers for how to do this year “better”, but who knows? Without making any predictions, maybe it will naturally just be better because it’s not the first year without my mom here. Firsts are always such nasty beasts.
I do know that I have started yet another ritual. When digging through my mom’s holiday stuff several months ago, I found a gorgeous sweet porcelain bud vase. I knew instantly I had to put it out and keep a single red rose in it during the Christmas season. I am not sure why I had this conviction; it wasn’t as though she liked red roses more than any other flower. But when I saw the vase, I knew. I knew there had to be a red rose and it had to be in that vase.
And how could my husband argue with this reason to buy flowers? Nothing like playing the dead mom card…
I can’t bring her back. I can’t shop with her or see her face when she watches my kids on Christmas morning. I can’t call her in panicked tears when I’ve managed to burn all of the cookies I was baking or need someone to bring an extra gravy boat to the family dinner. She can’t be here.
But a red rose has found it’s way into the bud vase for the season. And in this way, while the jingle bells are jingling and the tree sparkles in the background, my mom found a way into our Christmas.